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CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 




CHARLES DICKENS 

From a painting made by Francis Alexander in Boston in 1842 






CHARLES DICKENS 
IN AMERICA 



COMPILED AND EDITED BY 

WILLIAM CLYDE WILKINS 



WITH j f ILLUSTRATIONS AND PORTRAITS 



LONDON 
CHAPMAN AND HALL, LTD. 

1911 






RICHARD CLAY & SONS, t IMITKB, 

BRUNSWICK STREET, STAMFORD STREET, S. 1 
ANC BUNGAY, SUFFOLK. 



52.445 
lfe-1033 



TO MY FELLOW-MEMBERS 
OF 

THE DICKENS FELLOWSHIP 



FOREWORD 

THE writer, on reading American Notes and Dickens's 
letters from America in the volumes of his collected 
letters and his letters to Forster, printed in the latter's 
Life of Charles Dickens, has always been struck with 
two things : his very severe criticism of the American 
newspapers in 1842, and his bitterness on the subject 
of International Copyright. In order to satisfy himself 
as to the justness of Dickens's opinions at the time 
the book and letters were written, he has collected 
extracts from the newspapers of nearly every city which 
the Author visited during his first trip to the United 
States. These were so interesting, as giving the Press- 
writers' accounts of the visit, and their opinions of the 
Author personally, that the collection was further ex- 
tended to include anything that could be found in print, 
by American writers, relating to the visit some written 
during the time of the visit and some later. 

Mr. Philip Hone, who was one of the committee which 
entertained Dickens in New York, kept a diary from 1828 
to 1850, which was published in 1889 by Bodd, Mead & 
Co., New York ; and " Four Months with Charles Dickens 
during his First Visit to America : By his Secretary," 
published in the Atlantic Monthly shortly after Dickens's 
death both contain much interesting matter relating 
to Dickens's first visit. One or two private diaries have 
been discovered containing references to Dickens which 
have never been published. All this material, much of 
which has been buried in the files of old newspapers for 
nearly seventy years, and in other places for a shorter 
time, has proved so interesting to the writer that he has 
ventured to arrange it in the order in which Dickens 



vi t 



viii FOREWORD 

made his first American tour; and he hopes those who 
have read Dickens's own account of the trip will be 
equally interested in reading another account written by 
American writers. He has allowed these American 
writers to tell the story, with a few words here and there 
of his own to make the account a connected one. He 
has also collected a large number of contemporary 
engravings of the places mentioned in American Notes, 
and of hotels in which he lodged, which he believes 
are of equal interest with the text, many of which are 
reproduced. 

The readers can draw their own conclusions as to the 
justice of Dickens's opinions and criticisms of the Press 
and people of the United States in 1842. 

The account of the dinner given to Dickens by the 
Press of the United States, in New York in 1868, has 
also been included, as it contains so many beautiful 
tributes to the author by such famous editors and writers 
of the time as Horace Greeley, George William Curtis, 
Henry J. Raymond, William Henry Hurlbert and 
others, most of whom have passed away. These speeches 
have never been printed except in the newspapers imme- 
diately after the dinner, and the writer believes they 
should be preserved in more permanent and accessible 
form, which is the reason for their being included in 
this book. 

WILLIAM CLYDE WILKINS. 

PITTSBURGH (PA.), U.S.A., 
August, 1911. 



CONTENTS 

CHAP. PAGli 

I INTRODUCTORY I 

II BOSTON ......... 7 

III THE BOSTON DINNER IQ 

IV WORCESTER, HARTFORD AND NEW HAVEN . . 88 
V NEW YORK 104 

VI THE DINNER AT THE CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK. . 122 

VII PHILADELPHIA 152 

VIII WASHINGTON 164 

IX RICHMOND, BALTIMORE AND HARRISBURG . . . 177 

X PITTSBURGH, CINCINNATI, LOUISVILLE AND CAIRO . 2OO 

XI ST. LOUIS AND THE PRAIRIE 215 

XII THE RETURN TRIP ST. LOUIS TO NEW YORK . .226 

XIII INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT . . . . 237 

XIV THE PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO's . . .258 
APPENDIX I ........ 303 

APPENDIX II ..... . . 309 



IX 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

To ftue page 

CHARLES DICKENS ..... Frontispiece 
(From a painting by Francis Alexander, 1842) 

TREMONT HOUSE, BOSTON 1 6 

CUSTOM HOUSE AND DOCK, BOSTON . . . . 1 6 

MERRIMACK MILLS AND BOARDING-HOUSES, LOWELL . . 1 8 

MILL HOSPITAL, LOWELL, MASS. 1 8 

JOSIAH QUINCY 22 

J. DAVIS, GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS, 1842 . . . 88 

GOVERNOR DAVIS'S HOUSE, WORCESTER, MASS. ... 90 

ROOM IN GOVERNOR DAVIS'S HOUSE IN WHICH DICKENS 

SLEPT, 1842 ..... ... 90 

VIEW ON THE CONNECTICUT RIVER, 1839. ... 96 

HARTFORD, CONN 96 

CITY HOTEL, HARTFORD . . . . . . . IO2 

NEW HAVEN, FROM PERRY HILL . ... IO2 

NEW YORK BAY . . . . . . . .HO 

CARLTON HOTEL, NEW YORK HO 

CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK, WHERE THE " DICKENS DINNER " 

WAS GIVEN 124 

PARK THEATRE, NEW YORK, WHERE " BOZ .BALL" TOOK 

PLACE . . . . . . . . .124 

WASHINGTON IRVING 130 



xii LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

To face page 

UNITED STATES HOTEL, PHILADELPHIA . . . .158 

PENITENTIARY, PHILADELPHIA . . . . . .158 

WASHINGTON FROM THE PRESIDENT'S HOUSE . . . 1 68 
THE PRESIDENT'S HOUSE FROM THE RIVER . . .168 
JOHN TYLER, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, 1842 . 172 

RICHMOND, VA. 178 

EXCHANGE HOTEL, RICHMOND, VA 178 

BALTIMORE . .192 

BARNUM'S HOTEL, BALTIMORE . . . . . .192 

OLD CAPITOL OF PENNSYLVANIA, HARRISBURG . . .196 

THE BOLTON HOTEL (FORMERLY EXCHANGE), HARRISBURG, 

PA., WHERE DICKENS STAYED IN 1842 . . . 196 

PITTSBURGH, PA., 1843 2O 

STEAMER "MESSENGER," ON WHICH DICKENS TRAVELLED 

FROM PITTSBURGH TO CINCINNATI .... 204 

CINCINNATI LANDING 206 

BROADWAY HOTEL, CINCINNATI ..... 206 

VIEW ON THE OHIO RIVER BETWEEN CINCINNATI AND 

LOUISVILLE 210 

LOUISVILLE . . . . . . .210 

VIEW OF CAIRO, 1856 214 

HIGH WATER, CAIRO, 1844 . . . . . .214 

ST. LOUIS 2l8 

PLANTER'S HOUSE, ST. LOUIS . . . . . .218 

MANSION HOUSE, BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS, WHERE DICKENS 

STAYED IN 1842 . .... 224 

NEIL HOUSE, COLUMBUS, OHIO, 1844 . . . .224 



CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 



CHAPTER I 

INTRODUCTORY 

THERE can be no doubt in the minds of those who 
have read The Life of Charles Dickens, by his friend 
Forster, as to what was the prime object of the author's 
second visit to the United States in 1868. It was, to 
paraphrase Shakespeare, " to put money in his purse " ; 
in fact, he frankly wrote Forster, who disapproved of the 
project, "Have no fear that anything will induce me 
to make the experiment if I do not see the most forcible 
reason for believing that what I could get by it, added 
to what I have got, would leave me with a sufficient 
future." 

No fault can be found with him for this reason, as 
Dickens had a large family, his living expenses were 
heavy, and he desired to be able to leave his children 
provided for after his death. 

Just what were the reasons which prompted his first 
visit in 1842 are not so well known. There were to be 
no readings, and the journey was a tedious, uncomfort- 
able and expensive one to make in those days. Some 
have thought that the object of the trip was to procure the 
subject matter for his American Notes, published after 
his return. This, however, was not the principal reason, 
but was simply the means which he took to provide the 
necessary funds for his expenses, and, in fact, he had 
made arrangements with Chapman & Hall for the pub- 
lication of the book before he left England. Others 
have thought that the object of the trip was to inaugurate 
B 



2 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

a campaign for international copyright, but Forster has 
said that Dickens went to America with no intention of 
starting the question in any way, and Dickens himself 
has denied that this was the object. What was then the 
real object ? This question is best answered by a quota- 
tion from a paper in the Journal of the Illinois State 
Historical Society, by Dr. J. F. Snyder, entitled, 
"Charles Dickens in Illinois." Dr. Snyder writes 

"To see Cairo was really the main object of his 
journey to America. In 1837 one Darius B. Holbrook, 
a shrewd Boston Yankee, organized the Cairo City and 
Canal Company, a scheme as audaciously illusive as 
the John Laws Bubble in 1718; and going to Europe he 
plastered the walls everywhere with flaming lithographs 
of a grand city at the junction of the Mississippi and 
Ohio rivers in fact, as mythical as the fabled Quivira 
of Coronado's search. In London was the banking 
house of John Wright & Co., the same that in 1839 
confidenced the Illinois Fund Commissioners, Gov. 
Reynolds, Senator Young, General Rawlings and 
Colonel Oakley, into depositing with them $1,000,000 
of Illinois Bonds, resulting in a loss to the State of half 
their value. Through John Wright & Company, Hol- 
brook actually sold bonds of his Cairo Company to the 
amount of $2,000,000. Among his numerous victims 
was Mr. Dickens, who, it is asserted, invested in them 
a large part of his slender means." 

It will be noticed that this occurred while Dickens 
was writing The Pickwick Papers, and Dickens may at 
that time have had in mind the trip to America and his 
American Notes, for, in chapter xliv, Tony Weller 
says to Sam, "Have a passage taken ready for 'Merrika 
. . . and then let him come back and write a book about 
the 'Merrikans as'll pay all his expenses and more, if he 
blows 'em up enough." 

It may be that Dickens had forgotten the advice of 
Mr. Weller, and it may be only a coincidence that he 
took the advice and went to 'Merrika, and that he wrote, 
not one, but two books referring to that country, but he 
certainly did in these two books, in the opinion of many 
Americans, "blow 'em up enough." 



INTRODUCTORY 3 

Many of those whose feelings were personally hurt, 
and who thought he had not treated America and 
Americans fairly, were those who were members of self- 
appointed reception and entertainment committees, and 
whose vanity had prompted them to hope that when the 
author returned home and wrote his book especial 
mention would be made of them, and that the reception 
or banquet which they had helped to arrange in his 
honour would be the one affair which he might single 
out as the most important one of his trip. In this they 
were disappointed, for Dickens did not mention these 
affairs at all, as the American Notes consists almost 
entirely of descriptions and criticisms of such public 
institutions as blind asylums, prisons and slavery, with 
brief references to some of the cities visited. 

Every one who has read American Notes and Martin 
Chuszlewit knows w : hat Dickens's opinions were of 
America, American newspapers and the American 
people in 1842, the year in which he first visited the 
United States. It seemed to the writer, in view of the 
revival of interest in the author and his writings, due 
to the fact that 1912 is the centenary of his birth, that 
it might be interesting to learn what were the views of 
the press and people of the United States in 1842 as 
to the author himself. With this idea in mind the 
writer has obtained extracts relating to Dickens from 
newspapers in various cities which he visited in that 
year. Some of these are editorials and others are evi- 
dently written by reporters or news-writers who could 
make their mark with some of the so-called yellow news- 
papers of the present day. As to the latter, as will be 
seen later, we can hardly blame Dickens for what he 
says in his American Notes regarding the American 
Press of that period. The only fault we can find with 
him is that he did not differentiate sufficiently between 
the good and the bad, and that with few exceptions he 
puts all the American newspapers in the class now 
called "yellow." 

Perhaps one of the reasons Dickens had for disliking 
the American newspaper was that some of their 
descriptions of his personality and his attire offended 
B 2 



4 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

his vanity. It is no great disparagement of him to say, 
what every one now concedes, that Dickens was vain 
of his appearance and that he was fond of gay waist- 
coats, massive gold watch-chains, large scarf-pins and 
his wavy locks. It is an axiom that the more vain a 
man is, the less he wants to be told of his vanity. 

While Dickens was not favourably impressed with the 
Press of the United States, he wrote in the highest terms 
of most of the hotels at which he stopped, as the follow- 
ing extracts from American Notes will show. Of the 
Richmond Hotel (The Exchange) he wrote, "A very 
large and elegant establishment, and we were as 
well entertained as travellers need desire to be ; " of 
the hotel at Baltimore, "The most complete of all the 
hotels of which I have had any experience in the 
United States, and they were not a few, is Barnum's in 
that city, where the English traveller will find curtains 
to his bed for the first and last time in America ; " of the 
Harrisburg Hotel (Buehler's), "We were soon estab- 
lished in a very snug hotel, which, though smaller and 
far less splendid than many we put up at, is raised 
above them all by having for its landlord the most 
obliging, considerate and gentlemanly person I have 
ever had to deal with ; " of the Pittsburgh Hotel (Ex- 
change), "A most excellent hotel, and we were most 
admirably served ; " of the hotel at Louisville, " We 
slept at the Gait House, a splendid hotel, and we were 
as handsomely lodged as though we had been in Paris, 
rather than hundreds of miles beyond the Alleghanies ; " 
of the Planter's House at St. Louis, "An excellent 
house, and the proprietors have most beautiful notions 
of providing the creature comforts." 

A comparison of Dickens's letters to Forster, as given 
in the latter's Life of Charles Dickens, with his American 
Notes will show that Dickens's opinion of America and 
the American people seems to have undergone consider- 
able modification between the time of writing his first 
letters and the book. The first letters generally are very 
much more moderate in tone than his later letters and 
the book, but whether the author really modified his 
opinions by reason of the opposition to an international 



INTRODUCTORY 5 

copyright law by some of the American public, prin- 
cipally the publishers who had been reproducing his 
works, and his financial loss in Cairo (Eden) bonds, or 
whether he believed that criticisms rather than praise of 
the institutions of the United States would be more 
acceptable for English consumption or not, is a ques- 
tion. The writer can hardly believe that this great 
author would prostitute his pen in such a manner, and 
prefers to believe that the loss of the money he had 
invested in "Eden" had soured his pen. 

As will be seen by the newspaper accounts of the 
dinners and receptions given in Dickens's honour, no 
foreigner, be he statesman, warrior or prince, was ever, 
up to that time, given such a hearty welcome, or such 
paeans of praise as this thirty-year-old author; in fact, 
some of the praise was so fulsome that it is a wonder 
it did not pall upon its recipient, used as he was to the 
adulations of his own countrymen. In a letter to his 
friend Mr. Thomas Mitten, dated January 31, he 
summed up in the following words exactly what his 
own ideas were of the welcome and treatment he had 
received up to that time 

"I can give you no conception of my welcome. There 
never was a King or Emperor upon the earth so cheered 
and followed by crowds, and entertained at splendid 
balls and dinners and waited upon by public bodies of 
all kinds. I have had one from the far West, a journey 
of two thousand miles ! If I go out in a carriage, the 
crowd surrounds it and escorts me home ; if I go to the 
theatre, the whole house (crowded to the roof) rises as 
one man, and the timbers ring again. You cannot 
imagine what it is. I have five public dinners on hand 
at this moment, and invitations from every town and 
village and city in the United States." 

It is a wonder it did not completely turn his head, 
and it is not surprising that some of the newspapers 
and some of the people thought that perhaps they might 
be overdoing it. 

In a chapter written for American Notes, entitled 



6 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

"Introductory and Necessary to be Read," and which, 
by the advice of Forster, was not printed in the book, 
Dickens wrote 

"Neither does it contain, nor have I intended that it 
should contain, any lengthened and minute account of 
my personal reception in the United States; not because 
I am, or ever was, insensible to that spontaneous effusion 
of affection and generosity of heart, in a most affectionate 
and generous-hearted people; but because I conceive 
that it would ill become me to flourish matter necessarily 
involving so much of my own praises in the eyes of my 
unhappy readers." 

While Dickens did not give in American Notes his 
own opinions regarding his personal reception in the 
United States, he did express himself very freely in his 
letters to Forster, and it is interesting to compare his 
own account with those that are given in this book. 
These accounts are all by American writers of the time, 
most of them being by newspaper writers, and some of 
them taken from private diaries, which, when written, 
were not intended for publication, so that, taken together, 
they give a pretty good idea of the impressions made 
by Dickens on the Press and people of the United States. 
These accounts cover his personal doings and experi- 
ences in the United States for nearly every day, from 
the time he landed in Boston on Saturday, January 22, 
till he embarked at New York on Tuesday, June 7, after 
a journey lasting nearly five months, and covering, 
including the United States and Canada, about 5000 
miles. 



CHAPTER II 

BOSTON 

THE first information given to the American public 
that Charles Dickens intended visiting the United States 
was through a letter dated September 28, 1841, which 
he wrote to Mr. L. Gaylord Clark, editor of the Knicker- 
bocker Magazine, which information Mr. Clark gave 
to the newspapers. Dickens said in this letter 

"On the 4th of next January, if it please God, I am 
coming with my wife on a three or four months' visit 
to America. The British and North American packet 
will bring me, I hope, to Boston, and enable me, in the 
third week of the New Year, to set my foot upon the soil 
I have trodden in my daydreams many times, and 
whose sons (and daughters) I yearn to know and be 
among." 

Dickens evidently wrote Mr. Clark a second letter, for 
in The Evening Post (New York), January 4, 1842, we 
find the following 

"Mr. Dickens. This distinguished author, accom- 
panied by his lady, leaves England this day for the 
United States. We learn from a letter received by 
the last steamer, from Mr. Dickens, by our old friend 
Mr. Clark, of the Knickerbocker, that it is his intention 
of passing six months in the United States. After 
spending a few days in Boston, he will visit New York, 
where he will tarry some days. ' My design is,' he 
writes, ' to spend but little time in those two cities, but 
to proceed to the south as far as Charleston. Our stay 
will be six months, during which time I must see as 
much as can be seen in such a space of the country and 
the people.' 

7 



8 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

"Mr. Dickens speaks of his visit with the utmost 
enthusiasm. 'You make me very proud and happy,' 
he writes, ' by anticipation in thinking of the number 
of friends I shall find, but I cannot describe to you the 
glow into which I rise, when I think of the wonders that 
await us and all the interest I am sure I shall have in 
your mighty land.' ' 

Dickens sailed from Liverpool on the Britannia on 
January 4, and arrived in Boston eighteen days later, 
his arrival being chronicled in one of the Boston papers 
as follows 

" Arrival of the ' Britannia.' The steamer Britannia 
arrived in Boston on Saturday (Jan. 22nd) afternoon 
last, after a rather boisterous passage of eighteen days 
and a detention of ten hours by the fog. She brings 
intelligence eighteen days late, having Liverpool papers 
to the 4th instant and London to the evening of 
the 3rd. 

"Among the passengers is Charles Dickens, Esq., the 
famous ' Boz ' of English literature; he is accompanied 
by his lady. Earl Mulgrave is also a passenger." 

Dickens himself has told us through one of his letters 
to Forster how he was met on the steamer as she 
was moored to the wharf, not by newsboys but by 
EDITORS, and that "there was one among them, 
though, who was really of use, a Doctor S., editor of 
the . . . He ran off here (two miles at least) and 
ordered rooms and dinner." The hotel where the rooms 
were ordered was the Tremont House, and is no longer 
standing. This hotel, which at the time of Dickens's 
arrival, and for many years after, was considered by 
Americans as one of the best hotels in the country, 
did not strike him as favourably as some of the other 
hotels which he visited later in other cities, although 
he wrote in American Notes, "The hotel is an excel- 
lent one." He expressed himself, however, regard- 
ing it more freely in a letter to Forster, in which he 
wrote 



BOSTON 9 

"This hotel is a trifle smaller than Finsbury Square; 
and it is made so hot (I use the expression advisedly) 
by means of a furnace with pipes running through the 
passages, that we can hardly bear it. There are no 
curtains to the beds, or to the bedroom windows. I 
am sure there never are, hardly, all through America. 
The bedrooms are indeed very bare of furniture. Ours 
is hardly as large as your great room, and has a ward- 
robe in it of painted wood, not larger (I appeal to K.) 
than an English match-box. I slept in this room two 
nights, quite satisfied with the belief that it was a shower 
bath." 

He also wrote in this letter 

"I have a secretary whom I take on with me. He is 
a young man by the name of Q ; was strongly recom- 
mended to me ; is most modest, obliging, silent and 
willing, and does his work well. He boards and lodges 
at my expense when we travel, and his salary is ten 
dollars per month, about two pounds five of our English 
money." 

The young man whom Dickens calls "Q" was a 
young artist of Salem, by the name of George W. 
Putnam, who at the time of Dickens's arrival was 
then in Boston as a pupil of Mr. Francis Alexander, 
a well-known and highly-esteemed artist of that city. 
In 1870, shortly after Dickens's death, Mr. Putnam 
wrote a couple of papers which were published in the 
Atlantic Monthly, entitled, "Four Months with Charles 
Dickens, during his First Visit to America, by his 
Secretary." 

It will be noticed that the "Secretary" does not sign 
the papers by his name, which is probably accounted 
for by the fact that in American Notes Dickens only 
mentions him as "my Boston friend." The following 
extract from these Atlantic Monthly papers is interest- 
ing, telling, as it does, how "Q" came to be made 
Mr. Dickens's secretary, and how the Alexander portrait 
of Dickens came to be painted and how the Dexter bust 
was modelled. 



10 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

"Early in the winter of 1841 it had been announced 
that Charles Dickens would shortly visit this country, 
and Mr. Alexander wrote to him at London, inviting 
him to sit for his picture on his arrival. The next 
steamer brought a prompt answer from Mr. Dickens, 
accepting the invitation. I was quite glad of this 
arrangement, for, having read all he had written, and 
sharing largely in the general enthusiasm for the author 
and his works, I looked forward with pleasure to the 
honour of an introduction, through my friend 
Alexander. 

"Mr. Dickens had appointed ten o'clock on the 
Tuesday morning succeeding his arrival, for his first 
sitting to Alexander. The artist's rooms were at No. 41 
Tremont Row, not far from the Tremont House. The 
newspapers had announced the fact, and, long before 
the appointed hour, a crowd of people were around the 
hotel and arranged along the sidewalk to see him pass. 
The doorway and stairs leading to the painter's studio 
were thronged with ladies and gentlemen, eagerly await- 
ing his appearance, and as he passed, they were to the 
last degree silent and respectful. It was no vulgar 
curiosity to see a great and famous man, but an earnest, 
intelligent and commendable desire to look upon the 
author whose writings already enlisted in the great 
cause of humanity had won their dear respect, and 
endeared him to their hearts. He pleasantly acknow- 
ledged the compliment their presence paid him, bowing 
slightly as he passed, his bright, dark eyes glancing 
through and through the crowd, searching every face, 
and reading character with wonderful quickness, while 
the arch smiles played over his handsome face. 

"On arriving at the anteroom Mr. Dickens found a 
large number of the personal friends of the artist await- 
ing the honour of an introduction, and he passed from 
group to group in a most kind and pleasant way. It 
was here that I received my own introduction, and I 
remember that after Mr. Dickens had passed around the 
room, he came again to me and exchanged some pleasant 
words about my name, slightly referring to the American 
hero of the Revolution who had borne it. 



BOSTON 11 

"The crowd waited till the sitting was over, and saw 
him back again to the Tremont; and this was repeated 
every morning while he was sitting for his picture. 

"The engravings in his books which had then been 
issued either in England or America were very little like 
him. Alexander chose an attitude highly original, but 
very characteristic. Dickens is represented at his table 
writing. His left hand rests upon the paper. The pen 
in his right hand seems to have been stopped for a 
moment, while he looks up at you as if you had just 
addressed him. His long brown hair, slightly curling, 
sweeps his shoulder, the bright eyes glance, and that 
inexpressible look of kindly mirth plays around his 
mouth and shows itself in the arched brow. Alexander 
caught much of that singular lighting up of the face, 
which Dickens had, beyond any one I ever saw, and 
the picture is very like the original, and will convey 
to those who wish to know how ' Boz ' looked at thirty 
years of age, an excellent idea of the man. 

"I saw the picture daily as it progressed, and, being 
in the artist's room on the Thursday following the first 
sitting, Mr. Alexander told me that he had ' just made 
a disposal of my services.' I did not know what he 
meant. He then told me that Mr. Dickens and his wife 
had been at his house that forenoon, and Mr. Dickens 
said 

" ' Mr. Alexander, I have been in the country but a 
few days, and my table is already heaped high with 
unanswered letters ! I have a great number of engage- 
ments already. I did not expect a correspondence like 
this, and I must have a secretary. Can you find me 
one?' And Mr. Alexander at once mentioned me. I 
felt very diffident in regard to it, for I did not feel 
qualified for such a position, with such a man, however 
great the pleasure I knew I should derive from it. But 
my friend would take no excuses, insisted that I was 
the man for the place, and while we were talking a note 
came from Mr. Dickens, requesting that he would bring 
me to the Tremont House. So I went with Mr. 
Alexander, and was received with great cordiality and 
kindness by Mr. Dickens and his wife, and made an 



12 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

appointment to commence my duties on the following 
morning. 

"On Friday morning I was there at nine o'clock, the 
time appointed. Mr. and Mrs. Dickens had their meals 
in their own rooms and the table was spread for break- 
fast. Soon they came in and, after a cheerful greeting, 
I took my place at a side table and wrote as he ate 
breakfast, and meanwhile conversed with Mrs. Dickens, 
opened his letters and dictated the answers to me. 

"In one corner of the room, Dexter the sculptor was 
earnestly at work modelling a bust of Mr. Dickens. 
Several others of the most eminent artists of our country 
had urgently requested Mr. Dickens to sit to them for 
his picture and bust, but, having consented to do so to 
Alexander and Dexter, he was obliged to refuse all 
others for want of time. 

"While Mr. Dickens ate his breakfast, read his letters 
and dictated the answers, Dexter was watching with the 
utmost earnestness the play of every feature, and com- 
paring his model with the original. Often during the 
meal he would come to Dickens with a solemn, business- 
like air, stoop down and look at him sideways, pass 
around and take a look at the other side of his face and 
then go back to his model and work away for a few 
minutes ; then come again and take another look and go 
back to his model; soon he would come again with his 
calipers and measure Dickens's nose, and go and try it 
on the nose of the model ; then come again with the 
calipers and try the width of the temples, or the distance 
from the nose to the chin, and back again to his work, 
eagerly shaping and correcting his model. The whole 
soul of the artist was engaged in his task, and the result 
was a splendid bust of the great author. Mr. Dickens 
was highly pleased with it, and repeatedly alluded to it 
during his stay, as a very successful work of art." 

One friend and admirer whom Dickens made during 
this first visit to the United States, and who later became 
his American publisher and friend, and whose friendship 
lasted till the day of Dickens's death, was Mr. James T. 
Fields, of the firm of Ticknor & Fields, proprietors of 



BOSTON 13 

the "Old Corner Bookstore," now no longer standing. 
Mr. Fields, in Yesterdays with Authors, wrote 

"How well I recall the bleak winter evening in 1842 
when I first saw the handsome glowing face of the 
young man who was even then famous over half of the 
globe. He came bounding into the Tremont House, 
fresh from the steamer that had brought him to our 
shores, and his cheery voice rang through the hall, as 
he gave a quick glance at the new scenes opening upon 
him in a strange land at a Transatlantic hotel. ' Here 
we are ! ' he shouted, as the lights burst upon the merry 
party just entering the hotel, and several gentlemen 
came forward to meet him. Ah! How happy and 
buoyant he was then ! Young, handsome, almost wor- 
shipped for his genius, belted round by such troops 
of friends as rarely ever man had, coming to a new 
country to make new conquests of fame and honour 
surely it was a sight long to be remembered and never 
wholly to be forgotten ! " 

Fields wrote further concerning Dickens's first night 
in Boston 

"About midnight on that eventful landing, ' Boz ' 
everybody called him ' Boz ' in those days having 
finished his supper, came down into the office of the 
hotel, and joining the young Earl of M(ulgrave), his 
fellow voyager, sallied out for his first look at Boston 
Streets. It was a stinging night and the moon was 
at its full. Every object stood out sharp and glittering, 
and ' Boz,' muffled up in a shaggy fur coat, ran over 
the shining frozen snow, wisely keeping the middle of 
the street, for the most part. We boys followed 
cautiously behind, but near enough not to lose any of 
the fun. Of course the two gentlemen soon lost their 
way on emerging into Washington from Tremont 
Street. Dickens kept up one continual shout of up- 
roarious laughter as he went rapidly forward, reading 
the signs on the shops and observing the architecture 
of the new country into which he had dropped as if 
from the clouds. When the two arrived opposite the 



14 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

' Old South Church ' Dickens screamed. To this day 
I cannot tell why. Was it because of its fancied 
resemblance to St. Paul's or the Abbey? I declare 
firmly, the mystery of that shout is still a mystery to 
me." 

In the Boston Transcript of Monday, January 24, 
there appeared the following 

"We are requested to state that Charles Dickens will 
be at the Tremont Theatre this evening. The desire to 
see this popular young author will, no doubt, attract 
a large audience. We had an hour's conversation with 
him last evening, and found him one of the most frank, 
sociable, noble-hearted gentlemen we ever met with, 
perfectly free from any haughtiness or apparent self- 
importance. In fact, he is just such a person as we 
had supposed him to be, judging from his writings, 
which have acquired a popularity unprecedented in this 
country. His lady, too, is most beautiful and accom- 
plished, and appears worthy to be the partner of her 
distinguished husband." 

The New York Tribune, commenting on this notice, 
perhaps from a feeling of jealousy, due to the fact that 
Dickens had landed at Boston, rather than at the "Com- 
mercial Emporium," said in their issue of January 26 

"Charles Dickens, our country's well-beloved visitor, 
will remain at Boston about a fortnight and then pro- 
ceed southward. He will, of course, give us a call of 
two or three weeks here in the commercial emporium, 
if he is not beslavered and lionized into loathing us. 
We hope to get a look at him, but begin to despair of 
it, if he is to be disgusted with such licorice doses as 
the Boston Transcript is giving him." 

A Boston correspondent of the New York Com- 
mercial wrote 

"I conversed with Dickens about half-an-hour. He 
was exceedingly affable totally free from any haughti- 
ness or self-importance but full of life and sociability." 



BOSTON 15 

The Tribune, commenting on this opinion of the 
Boston correspondent, said 

"Such compliments to the author of Pickwick and 
Master Humphrey's Clock! We would give a trifle for 
a casual remark thereon from the Junior Mr. Weller. 
For our country's sake, we trust these darkeyisms will 
not drive Boz home again on the Britannia. Spare 
him till he is fairly rid of his seasickness, and let him 
have a chance to see us Yankees as we are some 
ninnies among us, of course, for it takes all sorts of 
people to make a world but the great mass of us are 
heartily glad to see him, are disinclined to bore him, and 
not all surprised to find bun a gentleman ! " 

It will be seen from many of the newspaper extracts, 
and extracts from private diaries given later on, that 
there was a suspicion lurking in the minds of not a 
few that perhaps they were overdoing it, in the manner 
in which Boz was being lionized, and this suspicion 
became a certainty in the opinions of many, after they 
had read American Notes and Martin Chusslewit. 

On Monday, January 24, the second day after his 
arrival in Boston, Dickens made a trip to Springfield 
to visit the State Legislature, a fact which he does not 
mention in American Notes. The Springfield news- 
papers, so far as can now be ascertained, made no 
mention of it. The New York Express, January 29, 
however, has the following brief mention of the visit 

''isit from Bos. Charles Dickens, Esq., paid a 
visit to the Massachusetts Legislature on Monday the 
24th, in company with T. C. Grattan, Esq., the Earl 
of Mulgrave and two others. Mr. Dickens was intro- 
duced to the Secretary of the Commonwealth, Mr. 
Bigelow, who accompanied him through the different 
parts of the Capitol. His appearance in the Senate 
Chamber created quite a sensation among the members. 
He was introduced there to Mr. Ouincy, the President 
of the Senate, and expressed himself as much pleased 
with the visit." 

While the Springfield papers made no mention of 
the visit, there is still living in Springfield an old man, 



16 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

who was a boy at the time, who says he remembers 
the occasion and that Dickens made a speech to the 
senators. 

Shortly after Dickens's arrival, he received a letter 
from a Dr. R. H. Collyer, a lecturer on animal 
magnetism, or mesmerism, asking him to attend his 
lecture in Boston and investigate the subject and witness 
his experiments. Dickens wrote the doctor a letter 
which is interesting as showing that he had investigated 
the subject and was a believer in it. 

u Tremont House, January 27, 1842. 

"DEAR SIR, 

"If we can possibly arrange it, I shall be much 
interested in seeing your cases, when you come to 
Boston. With regard to my opinion on the subject of 
mesmerism, I have no hesitation in saying that I have 
closely watched Dr. Elliottson's experiments from the 
first that I have the utmost reliance in his honour, 
character and ability, and would trust my life in his 
hands at any time and that after what I have seen with 
my own eyes, and observed with my own senses, I 
should be untrue to myself if I shrunk for a moment 
from saying that I am a believer, and that I became so 
against all my preconceived opinions and impressions. 

"Faithfully yours, 

"CHARLES DICKENS.' 

"To Dr. Collyer." 

That Dickens was not only a believer in mesmerism, 
but also an amateur practitioner, is proved by one of 
his letters to Forster, in which he relates how in Pitts- 
burgh he practised on Mrs. Dickens, and how "in six 
minutes, I magnetized her into hysterics, and then into 
the magnetic sleep ... I can wake her with perfect 
ease, but I confess (not being prepared for anything so 
sudden and complete) I was on the first occasion rather 
alarmed." 

A thorough search of the Boston newspapers fails 
to disclose any account of how Dickens spent his time 
between his visit to the Legislature and the dinner which 




IK1MOXT HOUSE, BOSTON 




CUSTOM HOUSE AND DOCK, BOSTON 

Where Dickens landed in 1842 

16 




BOSTON 17 

took place at Papinti's Restaurant on February I, but 
we know from American Notes that he visited most 
of the public institutions in and around the city. 

The dinner was such a great success, and the tributes 
paid to Dickens are so eloquent and so lengthy, that a 
chapter will be devoted to that event. 

We find, in the Boston Evening Transcript, February 
5, the following 

"Mr. Dickens visited Lowell on Thursday the 3rd, 
and examined the several manufacturing establishments 
in that city. Yesterday he paid a visit to our venerable 
alma mater Harvard University. He will leave town 
this afternoon for Worcester in company with Governor 
Davis, where he will remain until Monday, when he 
will proceed to Springfield, thence to Hartford, where 
he has accepted an invitation to a dinner to be given 
there on Tuesday." 

While the above item in the Evening Transcript is 
the only one that has been discovered in the Boston 
newspapers, two of the Lowell newspapers contained 
brief notices of the visit. The Courier of February 5 
contained the following 

" Boz in Lowell. This celebrated writer visited Lowell 
on Thursday. He came on the one o'clock train of cars, 
in company with Mr. Grattan, the British Consul, and 
several other gentlemen, and left on the five o'clock train. 
Consequently his stay has been very short; and thou- 
sands of his friends in the city had not an opportunity 
to see him. 

" He was received at the depot by Mr. Samuel 
Lawrence, whose guest he continued while in the city. 
We understand that he visited several of the mills with 
Mr. Lawrence, and expressed himself as highly gratified 
with his visit. We hope that ere he returns to England 
he will visit the city again, and thus give his numerous 
friends here an opportunity of taking him by the hand." 

The very highly complimentary manner in which 
Dickens described the conditions which he found in the 
mills of Lowell, and the manner in which the operatives 



18 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

in them lived and dressed, and of their literary con- 
tributions to the Lowell Offering, shows that he not 
only expressed his gratification with the visit while in 
Lowell, but also expressed it in his own written account. 
The editor of the Lowell Advertiser seems to have 
been offended because Dickens did not favour him with 
a personal visit, and thus expressed his feelings 

"Boz was in this city last week. The reason we did 
not mention it was because he passed our office without 
calling. He didn't call on the Courier or the people 
either. How in the name of reason can he expect puffs 
and popular applause ? " 

Dickens visited the mill hospital and wrote of it in 
very high terms of commendation. The hospital is still 
in existence, and is supported by contributions from the 
mill owners. 




MERRIMACK MILLS AND BOARDING-HOUSES, LOWELL 




MILL HOSPITAL, LOWELL, MASS. 
18 



CHAPTER III 



THE BOSTON DINNER 

AT the time of Dickens's first visit to the United States, 
Mr. Pickwick and Sam Weller, Oliver Twist and Fagin, 
Barnaby Rudge and Dolly Varden, Little Nell and 
grandfather, and Nicholas Nickleby and Smike, were 
as. well known in the United States as in England, and 
their creator was as great a favourite of his American 
readers as he was of their English cousins. 

It was no wonder, then, when in the latter part of 1841 
the news came to Boston that " Boz " was soon to visit 
America, and that Boston was to be the first city in the 
United States to be favoured by his presence, that some 
of the young men of that city decided that the event 
should be celebrated in a manner to make it memorable. 
With that end in view a committee was appointed to 
invite the young and distinguished author to a dinner 
to be given in his honour, and the following letter was 
sent to him before his departure from England 

"To CHARLES DICKENS, ESQ. 
"DEAR SIR, 

"The Young Men of Boston, in common with 
the whole American people, hail with delight the news 
of your intended visit to the New World. They send 
you a cordial greeting across the sea, and before you 
leave England, they hasten in imagination, but with 
heartfelt earnestness, to take you by the hand, and to 
welcome you to America. You will come into a strange 
land, but not among strangers; for you have long been 
a welcome guest at our firesides, and there is not a home 
in our cquntry which has not been made happier by 
c 2 19 



20 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

your presence. We do not address you as a son of our 
fatherland, for ' genius has no country ' ; we claim your 
literary reputation as the property of the human race; 
but it is more especially for your qualities as a man 
that we admire and love you ; for while we are aston- 
ished at a power of observation in you which detects 
novelty in the most familiar things a fertility of inven- 
tion which is inexhaustible, and a truth to nature which 
stamps fictitious characters with the individuality of real 
life our hearts are also irresistibly drawn towards you 
by that richness of humour which never fails to charm, 
and more than all, by that sympathy with universal 
man (the concomitant only of the highest genius), which 
prompted you to utter the noble sentiment, that ' you 
were anxious to show that virtue may be found in the 
by-ways of the world; that it is not incompatible with 
poverty, or even rags; and that you wished to distil 
out, if you could, from evil things the soul of goodness 
which the Creator has put in them.' 

"Actuated by these sentiments towards you, a num- 
ber of the Young Men of Boston, at a meeting held on 
the evening of the 27th of November, appointed the 
undersigned a Committee to invite you to a public 
dinner, or more private entertainment, to take place in 
honour of your arrival, at such a time and in such a 
manner as may be most agreeable to yourself; and we 
all earnestly hope that an invitation which we give 
with our whole hearts, you will find it compatible with 
the object of your visit to accept. 

"With sentiments of the truest regard and respect, 

"We are Y'r Ob't Serv'ts, 

"GEO. MINNS. 
"CHAS. H. MILLS. 
"JAMES R. LOWELL. 
"HENRY GARDNER. 
"SAMUEL PARKMAN, JR." 

Upon Mr. Dickens's arrival on January 22, 1842, the 
committee visited him, and the evening of February i 
was fixed upon by the guest as the time that would be 



THE BOSTON DINNER 21 

agreeable to him for the event. Shortly after his arrival 
Dickens wrote his friend and future biographer, Forster, 
saying 

"There is to be a public dinner to me here in Boston 
next Tuesday, and great dissatisfaction has been given 
to the many by the high price (three pounds sterling 
each) of the tickets." 

The following are the committees which had the dinner 
in charge 

President, Josiah Quincy, Jr. ; Vice-Presidents : Dr. 
Oliver Wendell Holmes, George S. Hillard, Edward G. 
Loring, and J. Thomas Stevenson. 

The Committee of Arrangements consisted of : E. H. 
Eldridge, W. W. Tucker, S. A. Appleton, H. Lee, Jr., 
and S. E. Guild. 

The members of the Invitation Committee were : 
George T. Bigelow, Nathan Hale, Jr., Jonathan Fay 
Barrett, Frederick W. Crocker, and William Wetmore 
Story. 

A glance at the personnel of these committees may 
not be uninteresting at the present. Josiah Quincy, Jr., 
the president, was the grandson of the Josiah Quincy who 
was a famous Boston lawyer and patriot, very prominent 
at the opening of the Revolutionary War. He was the 
son of Josiah Quincy, Sr., who, at the time of the 
dinner, was the venerable President of Harvard College, 
and was himself then President of the Massachusetts 
State Senate, and later Mayor of Boston. 

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, the genial "Autocrat 
of the Breakfast Table," was thirty-three years of age 
and had not yet become famous as the author of "The 
Wonderful One Hoss Shay," and at the time of the 
dinner was a practising physician in Boston. 

George Stillman Hillard was thirty-three years of age 
and was a prominent lawyer of Boston, and was later 
the author of a Life of General McClellan and a Life of 
George Ticknor. 

Edward G. Loring was a prominent attorney, and 
fater Judge of Probate. In 1854 ne was United States 
Commissioner, and as such he attained great notoriety 



22 

from the fact that, as Commissioner under the Fugitive 
Slave Law, he remanded Anthony Burns, an escaped 
slave, back to his master, Charles F. Suttle, a Virginian 
slaveholder. 

Richard H. Dana, Jr., appeared as attorney for the 
escaped slave, but unsuccessfully. The decision caused 
a riot and an attack on the courthouse, but without 
result, as Burns was conveyed back to Virginia in a 
U.S. revenue cutter. 

James Russell Lowell, who was one of the com- 
mittee which extended the invitation to Dickens, was 
only twenty-two years of age, and it was only four years 
since his graduation from Harvard College ; but he 
was even at that age making a reputation as a poet. 
He had studied law and been admitted to the bar, but 
had just decided to abandon the profession of law and 
lead a literary life. No one at that time would ever 
have prophesied that this young man would later shine 
as the United States Minister at the Courts of Madrid 
and St. James. 

George Tyler Bigelow, who was in his thirty-second 
year, was a young lawyer of Boston, and in 1847, at 
thirty-seven years of age, was Judge of the Court of 
Common Pleas, in 1850 was Justice of the Supreme 
Court of Massachusetts, and in 1860 Chief Justice. 

Nathan Hale, Jr., was an elder brother of the Rev. 
Edward Everett Hale, the celebrated Boston preacher 
and author. He was educated as a lawyer, but for the 
greater part of his life was an editor, being at this time 
the editor of the Boston Miscellany, to which James 
Russell Lowell was then a contributor. 

Jonathan Fay Barrett was a young lawyer of Con- 
cord, but of strong literary tastes and very active as a 
Whig politician. 

William Wetmore Story, the famous American 
sculptor, long resident in Rome, was only twenty-two 
years of age and was then a practising lawyer in Boston, 
where he remained till 1848, at which time he went to 
Italy. He was, previous to this time, the writer of 
several books on legal subjects as well as some volumes 




JOSIAH QUINCY 
President, Massachusetts State Senate, 1842 



THE BOSTON DINNER 23 

of prose and poetry. He was a classmate at Harvard 
of Lowell and Nathan Hale. 

Amongst the prominent guests were Josiah Quincy, 
Sr. ; Washington Allston, the poet and artist; George 
Bancroft, the historian ; Richard Henry Dana, Jr., the 
author of Two Years before the Mast; and many others 
eminent in the fields of literature, art and the law. It 
was probably as representative a body of eminent men 
as could well have been gathered together to welcome 
the young author, who was then only thirty years of 
age. 

The following account of the dinner is reprinted from 
the Boston Advertiser 

Mr. Dickens was received by a committee of the 
young men who invited him, and immediately on his 
arrival at the appointed hour of five, a full band in the 
gallery of the hall commenced playing "Washington's 
March." The invited guests, with the president and 
vice-president of the day, and a part of the subscribers, 
were in one of the drawing-rooms, and the other was 
well filled with the rest of the subscribers. The doors 
of the room last mentioned were first opened, and the 
subscribers took their places at their pleasure at the 
tables arranged in the hall, in such a way that no one 
had his back to the invited guests. As soon as all had 
found places, and order had followed the confusion 
necessarily attending the quick moving of a hundred 
and fifty persons, the band struck up "God save the 
Queen," and the doors of the other drawing-room being 
opened, the guests, and the president and vice-pre- 
sidents, entered, and were shown to the seats reserved 
for them. 

Before the covers were removed, the Rev. Dr. Park- 
man asked a blessing on the occasion, in a manner at 
once solemn and appropriate. 

The dinner then proceeded through various courses, 
till, at the appearance of the dessert, the president rose, 
and addressed the company in the following manner 

GENTLEMEN, The occasion that calls us together is 



24 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

almost unprecedented in the annals of literature. A 
young man has crossed the ocean with no hereditary 
title, no military laurels, no princely fortune, and yet his 
approach is hailed with pleasure by every age and con- 
dition, and on his arrival he is welcomed as a long- 
known and highly- valued friend. How shall we account 
for this reception ? Must we not at the first glance con- 
clude with FalstafT, "If the rascal have not given me 
medicines, to make me love him, I'll be hanged : it could 
not be else I have drunk medicines." 

But when reflection leads us to the causes of this 
universal sentiment, we cannot but be struck by the 
power which mind exercises over mind, even while we 
are individually separated by time, space and other 
conditions of our present being. Why should we not 
welcome him as a friend ? Have we not walked with 
him in every scene of varied life ? Have we not together 
investigated, with Mr. Pickwick, the theory of Tittle- 
bats? Have we not ridden together to the "Markis o* 
Granby," with old Weller on the box, and his son 
Samuel on the dickey ? Have we not been rook-shooting 
with Mr. Winkle, and courting with Mr. Tupman ? 
Have we not played cribbage with "The Marchioness" 
and quaffed the rosy with Dick Swiveller? Tell us not 
of animal magnetism ! We, and thousands of our 
countrymen, have for years been eating and talking, 
riding and walking, 'dancing and sliding, drinking and 
sleeping, with our distinguished guest, and he never 
knew* of the existence,, of one of us. Is it wonderful that 
we are delighted to see him, and to return in a measure 
his unbounded hospitalities ? Boz a stranger ! Well 
may we again exclaim, with Sir John Falstaff, "D'ye 
think we didn't know ye? We knew ye as well as him 
that made ye." 

But a jovial fellow is not always the dearest friend ; 
and although the pleasure of his society would always 
recommend the great progenitor of Dick Swiveller, "the 
perpetual grand of the glorious Apollers," in a scene 
like this, yet the respect of grave doctors and of fair 
ladies prove that there are higher qualities than those of 



THE BOSTON DINNER 25 

a pleasant companion to recommend and attach them to 
our distinguished guest. What is the charm that unites 
so many suffrages ? It is that in the lightest hours, and 
in the most degraded scenes which he has portrayed, 
there has been a reforming object and moral tone, not 
formally thrust forth in the canvas, but infused into the 
spirit of the picture, with those natural touches whose 
contemplation never tires. 

With what power of delineation have the abuses of 
his institutions been portrayed ? How have the poor- 
house, the jail, the police courts of justice, passed before 
his magic mirror, and displayed to us the petty tyranny 
of the low-minded official, from the magnificent Mr. 
Bumble, and the hard-hearted Mr. Roker, to the author- 
itative Justice Fang the positive Judge Stareleigh ! As 
we contemplate them, how strongly have we realized 
the time-worn evils of some of the systems they revealed 
to our eyesight, sharpened to detect the deficiencies and 
malpractices under our own. 

The genius of chivalry, which had walked with such 
power among men, was exorcised by the pen of Cer- 
vantes. He did but clothe it with the name and images 
of Don Quixote de la Mancha and his faithful squire, 
and ridicule destroyed what argument could not reach. 

This power belongs in an eminent degree to some 
of the personifications of our guest. A short time ago 
it was discovered that a petty tyrant had abused the 
children who had been committed to his care. No long 
and elaborate discussion was needed to arouse the public 
mind. He was pronounced a perfect Squeers, and 
eloquence could go no further. Happy is he who can 
add a pleasure to the house of childhood but far 
happier he who, by fixing the attention of the world on 
their secret sufferings, can protect or deliver them from 
their power. 

But it is not only as a portrayer of public wrongs 
that we are indebted to our friend. What reflecting 
mind can contemplate some of these characters without 
being made more kind-hearted and charitable ? Descend 
with him into the very sink of vice contemplate the 



26 

mistress of the robber the victim of a murderer dis- 
graced without polluted within and yet, when, in 
better moments, her natural kindness breaks through 
the cloud, when she tells you that no word of counsel, 
no tone of moral teaching, ever fell upon her ear, when 
she looks forward from a life of misery to a death by 
suicide you cannot but feel that there is no condition 
so degraded as not to be visited by gleams of a higher 
nature, and rejoice that He alone will judge the sin who 
knows also the temptation. Again, how strongly are 
the happiness of virtue and the misery of vice con- 
trasted. The morning scene of Sir Mulberry Hawk 
and his pupil brings out in strong relief the night 
scene of Kit Nubbles and his mother. The one in 
affluence and splendour, trying to find an easier position 
for his aching head, surrounded with means and trophies 
of debauchery, and "thinking there would be nothing 
so snug and comfortable as to die at once." The other 
in the poorest room, earning a precarious subsistence 
by her labours at the wash-tub ugly and ignorant and 
vulgar, surrounded by poverty, with one child in the 
cradle, and the other in the clothes basket, "whose great 
round eyes emphatically declared that he never meant 
to go to sleep any more, and thus opened a cheerful 
prospect to his relations and friends," and yet in this 
situation, with only the comfort that cleanliness and 
order could impart kindness of heart and the deter- 
mination to be talkative and agreeable throw a halo 
round the scene, and as we contemplate it we cannot but 
feel that Kit Nubbles has attained to the summit of 
philosophy, when he discovered "there was nothing in 
the way in which he was made that called upon him to 
be a snivelling, solemn, whispering chap sneaking 
about as if he could not help it, and expressing himself 
in a most unpleasant snuffle but that it was as natural 
for him to laugh as for a sheep to bleat, a pig to grunt, 
or a bird to sing." Or take another example, when 
wealth is attained, though by different means and for 
different purposes. Ralph Nickleby and Arthur Gride 
are industrious and successful ; like the vulture, they 



THE BOSTON DINNER 27 

are ever soaring over the field that they may pounce on 
the weak and unprotected. Their constant employment 
is grinding the poor, and preying upon the rich. What 
is the result? Their homes are cold and cheerless, the 
blessing of him that is ready to perish comes not to 
them, and they live in wretchedness to die in misery. 
What a contrast have we in the glorious old twins 
Brother Charles and Brother Ned. They have never 
been to school, they eat with their knives (as the Yankees 
are said to do), and yet what an elucidation do they 
present of the truth that it is better to give than to 
receive ! They acquire their wealth in the honourable 
pursuits of business. They expend it to promote the 
happiness of every one within their sphere, and their 
cheerful days and tranquil nights show that wealth is a 
blessing or a curse, as it ministers to the higher or lower 
propensities of our nature. 

" He that hath light within his own clear breast, 
May sit i' the centre and enjoy bright day; 
But he that hides a dark soul and foul thoughts, 
Benighted walks under the mid-day sun ; 
Himself in his own dungeon." 

Such men are powerful preachers of the truth, that 
universal benevolence is the true panacea of life ; and 
although it was a pleasant fiction of Brother Charles 
that "Tim Linkinwater was born a hundred and fifty 
years old, and was gradually coming down to five-and- 
twenty," yet he who cultivates such a sentiment will, as 
years roll by, attain more and more to the spirit of a 
little child; and the hour will come when that principle 
shall conduct the possessor to immortal happiness and 
eternal youth. 

If, then, our guest is called upon to state what are 

"The drugs, the charms, 
The conjuration and the mighty magic, 
He's won our daughters with" 

well might he reply that, in endeavouring to relieve the 
oppressed, to elevate the poor, and to instruct and edify 



28 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

those of a happier condition, he had only "held the 
mirror up to nature." To "show virtue her own form 
scorn her own image." That "this was the only witch- 
craft he used " ; and, did he need proof of this, there 
are many fair girls on both sides of the water who, 
though they might not repeat the whole of Desdemona's 
speech to a married man, yet could they tell him 

" That if he had a friend, that loved her, 
He should but teach him how to tell his stories, 
And that would win her." 

I would, gentlemen, it were in my power to present, 
as on the mirror in the Arabian tale, the various scenes 
in our extended country, where the master-mind of our 
guest is at this moment acting. In the empty school- 
room, the boy at his evening task has dropped his 
grammar, that he may roam with Oliver or Nell. The 
traveller has forgotten the fumes of the crowded steam- 
boat, and is far off with our guest, among the green 
valleys and hoary hills of old England. The trapper, 
beyond the rocky mountains, has left his lonely tent, 
and is unroofing the houses in London with the more 
than Mephistopheles at my elbow. And, perhaps, in 
some well-lighted hall, the unbidden tear steals from 
the father's eye, as the exquisite sketch of the poor 
school-master and his little scholar brings back the form 
of that gifted boy whose "little hand" worked its 
wonders under his guidance, and who, in the dawning 
of intellect and warm affections, was summoned from 
the school-room and the play-room for ever. Or to some 
bereaved mother the tender sympathies and womanly 
devotion, the touching purity of little Nell, may call 
up the form where dwelt that harmonious soul which, 
uniting in itself God's best gifts, for a short space shed 
its celestial light upon her household, and then vanish- 
ing, "turned all hope into memory." 

But it is not to scenes like these that I would now 
recall you. I would that my voice could reach the ear 
of every admirer of our guest throughout the land, that 
with us they might welcome him on this, his first public 
appearance to our shores. Like the rushing of many 



THE BOSTON DINNER 29 

waters, the response would come to us from the bleak 
hills of Canada, from the savannahs of the South, from 
the prairies of the West, uniting in an "earthquake 
voice " in the cheers with which we welcome CHARLES 
DICKENS to this new world. 

Mr. Quincy concluded with the following toast 
Health, happiness, and a hearty welcome to Charles 
Dickens. 

This toast was received with a burst of applause, 
and the cheering which greeted Mr. Dickens was loud 
and long; as soon as it ceased he responded with the 
following address, which he spoke earnestly, and with 
apparent feeling 

GENTLEMEN, If you had given this splendid enter- 
tainment to any one else in the whole wide world if I 
were here to-night to exult in the triumph of my dearest 
friend if I stood here upon my defence, to repel any 
unjust attack to appeal as a stranger to your generosity 
and kindness as the freest people on the earth I could, 
putting some restraint upon myself, stand among you 
as self-possessed and unmoved as I should be alone, in 
my own room in England. 

But when I have the echoes of your cordial greet- 
ing ringing in my ears when I see your kind faces 
beaming a welcome so warm and earnest as never man 
had, I feel it is my nature so vanquished and sub- 
dued that I have hardly fortitude enough to thank you. 
If your president, instead of pouring forth that delight- 
ful mixture of humour and pathos, which you have just 
heard with so much delight, had been but a caustic, 
ill-natured man if he had only been a dull one if I 
could only have doubted or distrusted him or you I 
should have had my wits at my ringers' ends, and, 
using them, could have held you at arm's length. But 
you have given me no such opportunity ; you take 
advantage of me in the tenderest point; you give me no 
chance of playing at company or holding you at a dis- 
tance, but flock about me like a host of brothers, and 
make this place like home. Indeed, gentlemen, indeed, 



30 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

if it be natural and allowable for each of us, on his own 
hearth, to express his thoughts in the most homely 
fashion, and to appear in his plainest garb, I have a 
fair claim upon you to let me do so to-night, for you 
have made my house an Aladdin's palace. You fold 
so tenderly within your breasts that common household 
lamp in which my feeble fire is all enshrined, and at 
which my flickering torch is lighted up, that straight 
my household gods take wing and are transported here. 
And whereas it is written of that fairy structure that it 
never moved without two shocks one when it rose, and 
one when it settled down I can say of mine that, how- 
ever sharp a tug it took to pluck it from its native 
ground, it struck at once an easy, and a deep and 
lasting root into this soil; and loved it as its own. I 
can say more of it, and say with truth, that long before 
it moved, or had a chance of moving, its master per- 
haps from some secret sympathy between its timbers 
and a certain stately tree that has its being hereabout, 
and spreads its broad branches far and wide dreamed 
by day and night, for years, of setting foot upon this 
shore, and breathing this pure air. And, trust me, 
gentlemen, that, if I had wandered here, unknowing 
and unknown, I would if I know my own heart have 
come with all my sympathies clustering as richly about 
this land and people with all my sense of justice as 
keenly alive to their high claims on every man who 
loves God's image with all my energies as fully bent 
on judging for myself, and speaking out, and telling in 
my sphere the truth, as I do now, when you rain down 
your welcome on my head. 

Your president has alluded to those writings which 
have been my occupation for some years past; and you 
have received his allusions in a manner which assures 
me if I needed any such assurance that we are old 
friends in the spirit, and have been in close communion 
for a long time. 

It is not easy for a man to speak of his own books. 
I dare say that few persons have been more interested 
in mine than I ; and if it be a general principle in nature 



THE BOSTON DINNER 31 

that a lover's love is blind, and that a mother's love is 
blind; I believe that it may be said of an author's 
attachment to the creatures of his own imagination that 
it is a perfect model of constancy and devotion and is 
the blindest of all. But the objects and purposes I have 
had in view are very plain and simple and may be easily 
told. I have always had, and always shall have, an 
earnest and true desire to contribute, as far as in me 
lies, to the common stock of healthful cheerfulness and 
enjoyment. I have always had, and always shall have, 
an invincible repugnance to the mole-eyed philosophy 
which loved the darkness and winks and scowls in the 
light. I believe that virtue shows quite as well in rags 
and patches as she does in purple and fine linen. I 
believe that she and every beautiful object in external 
nature claim some sympathy in the breast of the poorest 
man who breaks his scanty loaf of bread. I believe that 
she goes barefoot as well as shod. I believe that she 
dwells rather oftener in alleys and by-ways than she 
does in courts and palaces; and that it is good, and 
pleasant, and profitable, to track her out and follow 
her. I believe that to lay one's hand upon some of 
those rejected ones whom the world has too long for- 
gotten, and too often misused, and to say to the proudest 
and most thoughtless : these creatures have the same 
elements and capacities of goodness as yourselves; 
they are moulded in the same form and made of the 
same clay; and though ten times worse than you, may, 
in having retained anything of their original nature 
amidst the trials and distresses of their condition, be 
really ten times better I believe that to do this is to 
pursue a worthy and not useless avocation. Gentlemen, 
that you think so too, your fervent greeting sufficiently 
assures me. That this feeling is alive in the old world 
as well as in the new, no man should know better than 
I I, who have found such wide and ready sympathy 
in my own dear land. That in expressing it we are but 
treading in the steps of those great master spirits who 
have gone before, we know by reference to all the bright 
examples in our literature, from Shakespeare downward. 



32 

There is one other point connected with the labours 
(if I may call them so) that you hold in such generous 
esteem, to which I cannot help adverting. I cannot 
help expressing the delight, the more than happiness, it 
was to me to find so strong an interest awakened, on 
this side of the water, in favour of that little heroine of 
mine, to whom your president has made allusion, who 
died in her youth. I had letters about that child in 
England, from the dwellers in log-houses among the 
morasses, and swamps, and densest forests, and deepest 
solitudes, of the Far West. Many a sturdy hand, hard 
with the axe and spade, and browned with the summer's 
sun, has taken up the pen and written to me a little 
history of domestic joy or sorrow, always coupled, I 
am proud to say, with interest in that little tale, or some 
comfort or happiness derived from it; and the writer 
has always addressed me, not as a writer of books for 
sale, resident some four or five thousand miles away, 
but as a friend to whom he might freely impart the joys 
and sorrows of his own fireside. Many a mother I 
could reckon them, now, by dozens, not by units has 
done the like, and has told me how she lost a child at 
such a time, and where she lay buried, and how good 
she was, and how, in this or that respect, she resembled 
Nell. I do assure you that no circumstance of my 
life has given me one hundredth part of the gratification 
I have derived from this source. I was wavering at the 
time whether or not to wind up my clock, and come 
and see this country; and this decided me. I felt as if 
it were a positive duty, as if I were bound to pack up 
my clothes and come and see my friends. And even 
now, I have such an odd sensation in connection with 
these things that you have no chance of spoiling me. 
I feel as though we were agreeing as indeed we are, if 
we substitute for fictitious names the classes from which 
they are drawn about third parties in whom we had a 
common interest. At every new act of kindness on your 
part, I say it to myself that's for Oliver I should not 
wonder if that were meant for Smike I have no doubt 
that is intended for Nell ; and so I become a much 



THE BOSTON DINNER 33 

happier, certainly, but a more sober and retiring man, 
than ever I was before. 

Gentlemen ! talking of my friends in America brings 
me back naturally and of course to you. Coming 
back to you, and being thereby reminded of the pleasure 
we have in store in hearing the gentlemen who sit 
about me, I arrive by the easiest, though not by the 
shortest course in the world, at the end of what I have 
to say. But before I sit down, there is one topic on 
which I am desirous to lay particular stress. It has, 
or should have, a strong interest for us all, since to its 
literature every country must look for one great means 
of refining and improving its people, and one great 
source of national pride and honour. You have in 
America great writers great writers who will live in 
all time, and are as familiar to our lips as household 
words. Deriving (which they all do in a greater or 
less degree, in their several walks) their inspiration 
from the stupendous country that gave them birth, they 
diffuse a better knowledge of it, and a high love for it, 
all over the civilized world. I take leave to say, in the 
presence of some of those gentlemen, that I hope the 
time is not far distant when they, in America, will 
receive of right some substantial profit and return in 
England from their labours; and when we, in England, 
shall receive some substantial profit and return in 
America from ours. Pray do not misunderstand me. 
Securing to myself from day to day the means of an 
honourable subsistence, I would rather have the affec- 
tionate regard of my fellow-men than I would have 
heaps and mines of gold. But the two things do not 
seem to me incompatible. They cannot be, for nothing 
good is incompatible with justice. There must be an 
international arrangement in this respect; England has 
done her part; and I am confident that the time is not 
far distant when America will do hers. It becomes the 
character of a great country : first, because it is justice ; 
secondly, because without it you never can have, and 
keep, a literature of your own. 

Gentlemen, I thank you with feelings of gratitude, 






34 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

such as are not often awakened, and can never be 
expressed. As I understand it to be the pleasant custom 
here to finish with a toast, I would beg to give you 

America and England and may they never have any 
division but the Atlantic between them ! 

It was some time ere the applause and cheering 
which followed this speech subsided; as soon as silence 
was obtained, the president said 

It had been said that painters, in portraying pictures 
of ideal female beauty, unconsciously sketched the 
features of her who was the dearest to their hearts. 
If this was as true of the novelist as the painter, how 
greatly are the admirers of the lovely creations of our 
friend's genius indebted to her who holds this relation 
to him ! With his permission, therefore, he proposed 

The health of the lady of our distinguished guest 
If she were the model of the pure and elevated females 
of his works, it might be well said that she was the better 
half even of Charles Dickens. 

The toast was drunk with nine cheers, the company 
all standing. 

The president said he would propose one toast more, 
and for a response to it he should look to the other end 
of the table. He then gave 

The Old World and the New In the beautiful 
language of our guest, there is one broad sky over all ; 
and whether it be blue or cloudy, there is the same 
heaven beyond it. 

Edward G. Loring, Esq., one of the vice-presidents, 
responded to this sentiment as follows 

Mr. President, Your sentiment refers directly to 
what the sentiment of our guest, your welcome to him, 
and his English response, must have pressed on the 
minds of all of us the peculiar bonds of union between 
England and America. There is no one here who would 
wish them fewer or weaker than they are a common 
parentage, a common literature, and common national 
interests ; and yet, stronger and broader. One common 
parentage is surely much ; yet the relationship of nations 



THE BOSTON DINNER 



35 



has never proved the strongest of national bonds, nor 
withstood the trials of conflicting interests, or the 
rivalry for wealth or power; a common literature is 
indeed much more, and New England is not the place 
in our land where it will be first undervalued. Since 
common scholarship began here and that was the day 
and hour the passengers of the Mayflower landed on 
Plymouth Rock since then it has been our earnest 
New England thanksgiving that we had our birth- 
right in English literature, that "the well of English 
undefiled " was within the lines of our heritage, and 
that we had an inalienable right to draw of its waters, 
even under the suspicion that we tinged them as we 
drew. It is the blessing we have prized more than any 
other, and by which we have profited more than any 
other that we could open the huge volume of English 
learning, illumined more brightly than missal ever 
shone, that genius had blazoned for a foreign people in 
a foreign land, and read its glorious text in the full and 
ready apprehension of our own vernacular; but this is 
now not peculiar to us the scholarship of every country 
has attained it, and the degree of union that it gives. 
Scholars fraternize everywhere, and the Republic of 
Letters is as broad as the limits of civilization ; but there 
is yet another broader and stronger bond than parentage 
or literature, which binds not merely the scholars of 
England and America, not merely two nations as such, 
in their national capacities and relations and interests 
but which binds together the people of the nations of 
England and America as one people, and binds them 
all the closer as by its own force it excludes the people 
of all other nations from the alliance. 

The people of other nations are separated from each 
other, and have been so, and must remain so, in spite of 
all the affinities with which circumstances and civiliza- 
tion have combined to unite them ; these are stronger in 
modern Europe to-day than between any nations the 
world has seen yet of these nations the people of each 
are as distinct from the people of every other as if they 
belonged to different epochs of time. This is not 

D2 



36 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

because of any difference in their degree of civilization 
in mental or moral culture in the schools of their 
learning, or their systems of philosophy or in the forms 
and usages of their social life ; in these they are alike 
so much alike, that the same classes in the different 
nations differ less than different classes in the same 
nation. It is not because their political relations are 
hostile, for peace is in all their borders ; and the wisdom 
of the statesman is tasked to interweave their political 
interests. It is not the difference of their forms of 
government for in these they resemble each other more 
than America resembles her mother country; it is not 
the geographical barriers that separate them from each 
other between them no ocean rolls between many of 
them neither mountains rise nor rivers run inhabiting 
the same continent, the same plain with a local division 
so slight that the small grass which fixes its root in 
one state hangs its blade in the other with a boundary 
line as purely mathematical as that of our New England 
farms, which run from a tree to a stake and stones 
yet the people on each side of this line are a distinct 
people the governments may league in peace and war 
their scholars may consort in literary fellowship, but 
the people never touch they are distinct, and are kept 
distinct, by their different spoken language. This bars 
their intercourse, and shuts up in each all homelike 
thoughts and feelings and "their dear familiar words" 
they find on each other's tongue the shibboleth of 
alienation ; their different languages mark the line of 
their insulation, and though that line may be as slight 
as invisible, yet it is as impassable as the magic circle 
of a fairy dance that leaves no impress on the evening 
dew, yet separates the different beings of different 
worlds. 

So will it be for ever. The difference of language 
of the nations shall make their people strangers as it 
has from the beginning. That beginning is recorded 
in holy writ the judgment of the plain of Shinar, when 
Babel fell, has overspread the earth all time has con- 
firmed it, and the generations of every nation in its 



THE BOSTON DINNER 87 

variant tongue has repeated it against it no circum- 
stance or human contrivance has prevailed anything 
arts and arms, civilization and conquests, have changed 
everything else, but of this judgment not one letter is 
altered as it was first writ it is now read. Call that 
record a history or a metaphor, yet the fall of Babel 
typifies the most pregnant event that marks the course 
of man; of that event the people of England and 
America are alone untouched ; of Babel's tower not a 
brick fell between them ; from the decree which sundered 
all other people they alone are exempted, and that decree 
is their authority, their necessity, to go on together in 
their great courses, with ideas, thoughts and sentiments 
in common ; and made common by their common utter- 
ance. Using not only the same books, but the same 
spoken words; listening to the same preaching from the 
desk, to the same teachings of philosophy, to the same 
discussion of moral and political principles ; using the 
same inventions of art, the same developments of 
science; applying the same rules of right or wrong to 
the management of their daily affairs; having the same 
conventional forms and usages of life, the same table 
talk, parlour conversation and nursery prattle all things 
that go most certainly to fix mental and moral habits, 
and make first individual and then national character; 
the people of England and the people of America must 
be for ever one people and this is the result of their 
common spoken language. 

This is, sir, a part of what the young men of Boston 
claim this common spoken language has done for 
them, and the question comes to their own minds, what 
have they done for that ? Here it is not for them to 
say ; they must repress the impulse to point to their 
fellow-citizens who are their guests to-day. But, sir, 
there is one thing they may do, one act of the young 
men of Boston to which they may refer for it was the 
act of their forefathers, when they were the young men 
of Boston they founded in their new wilderness 
HARVARD COLLEGE, and made it its great duty to 
guard the purity of our English speech. Sir, if we have 



88 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

not profited in that respect by her teachings, it is our 
own fault; but there is one lesson of hers that we have 
learned by heart, and would repeat now when we meet 
her at our own festival it is, "To give honour to those 
who in their high office do honour to her." 

When the immense cheering occasioned by this 
sentiment had subsided, President Quincy, of Harvard 
University, presented himself before the company, and 
was received with enthusiastic greeting. He replied to 
the compliment paid to himself and old Harvard in the 
following terms 

It is not fair, gentlemen, not quite fair. When I 
received your invitation, I had many doubts concerning 
accepting it. I saw very plainly that, if I did, by some 
hook or crook I should be set up for a speech ; and I 
now feel disposed to give myself the same advice which 
was once given by Swift. "Sir," said a man to Swift, 
"I am about to set up for a wit." "Sir," said Swift to 
the man, "you had better sit down again." 

I thought indeed, gentlemen, that I had laid an 
anchor to the windward, and that I was not to be assailed 
by either toast or sentiment; that none of that intel- 
lectual machinery was applied to me by which it is usual, 
on such occasions as these, to rasp speeches out of dry 
and reluctant natures. Why, gentlemen, I belong to 
a past age. It is no more reasonable to expect a man 
of threescore years and ten to make a good after-dinner 
speech than it is to expect he would dance well a horn- 
pipe. Nature is against it. A great many particulars 
enter into the composition of a good after-dinner 
speech which it is scarcely possible for an old man 
to command. Such a speech should at once be witty 
and wise. It should have sentiment and fancy. There 
should be a sprinkling of salt the pure attic; and a 
large infusion of the essence of roses, provided it be 
distilled from those which grow on the side of Par- 
nassus. There should be a layer of utile and a layer 
of dulce alternately. Sound sense should be at the 
bottom, and at the top as much sugar work and fancy 
flummery as the occasion will bear. Now it is next to 



THE BOSTON DINNER 39 

impossible for a man of my age to collect all these 
materials at a moment's warning. Besides, there are 
two essential things in which he is necessarily deficient 
memory and fancy. To an old man, Memory is an 
arrant jade; eternally playing him tricks; and like most 
of her sex, not at all delicate in letting him know what 
a preference she has for young men. An old man's 
fancy can neither run nor walk ; much less can it fly, for 
in its wings there is neither quill nor pin-feather. Be- 
sides, gentlemen, it is a rule that, when a man's son 
has set up in trade, and is carrying it on pretty success- 
fully, it is full time for his father to quit business. 
Otherwise unpleasant comparisons may occur. It might 
be said, possibly, that "the father beats the son," which 
would look unkind and unparental. Or it might be 
said, which in this case is more likely, that "the son 
beats the father," which all will agree is quite cruel 
and unnatural. 

The fear of being called up for a speech was not 
my only difficulty, gentlemen, in accepting your invita- 
tion. I reasoned with myself, something in this way. 
Here is a young man come across the Atlantic, who, 
ever since he was a man, has been harvesting laurels, 
and here he is, with his hands full and his head covered 
with them, and the young men of Boston, with a laud- 
able disposition to do justice to merit, have resolved 
to place a small twig of Yankee laurel among the great 
collection he has brought with him from Europe. All 
this is well, and very proper. But what have I to do 
with it? I am not a young man. Shall I not be out 
of place ? So I was in great difficulty ; for, to tell you 
the truth, I had an intense desire to be present on the 
occasion. In this dilemma I said to a judicious friend 
of mine, "The young men have invited me to the dinner 
they are to give to Mr. Dickens ; do you advise me to 
go?" "By no means," said my friend; "you will be 
out of your place, and in their way. Why, you will 
prevent the young men from cracking their jokes." 
Now, gentlemen, observe when you will, and you will 
find that, when a man asks advice, and the advice given 



40 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

thwarts his inclination, instead of acquiescing, he always 
falls to arguing. And so I did on this occasion. 
"Why," I replied, "if the jokes they crack are good 
jokes, I should like to be at their cracking ; but if there 
should be a disposition in any of them to make bad 
jokes " a thing, by the way, they never learnt from the 
writings of the gentleman they desire to honour, for in 
all his works not a bad joke is to be found "in such 
case, should my presence prevent them, it would be 
useful." So, drawing a reason in favour of accepting 
the invitation from the very argument adduced against 
it, I resolved to follow my inclination ; threw my 
judicious friend's advice to the winds, and accepted the 
invitation. 

But my difficulties were not all over, then. Some 
time elapsed between my acceptance and the dinner, 
during which my mind was busy with its doubts and 
conjectures. Shall I be the oldest man in the company ? 
Will there be any one there of my age, or near it? 
Will there be any but young men there? At length 
my mind settled down into an intense desire to know 
how this meeting would be composed; and whether it 
would be composed wholly of young men. I felt, 
gentlemen, very much as I hope what I am going to 
say will give no offence. Remember, it is not said 
by way of application or adaptation, but only by way of 
illustration ; I felt then, in regard to the composition 
of this meeting, very much as Sam Weller did on 
another occasion. You all know Sam Weller. If any 
of you do not, I advise you to form an acquaintance 
with him as soon as possible. He is worth knowing; 
and quite a classical character. I felt, I say, concern- 
ing the composition of this meeting, as Sam Weller 
did, when invited to dine on a veal pie. "Why," said 
Sam, "I like the invitation much. A weal pie is a nice 
thing, a werry nice thing; but then I should like to 
know, beforehand, how it is composed, and whether 
there is likely to be found there anything besides 
kittens." 

Gentlemen (continued Mr. Quincy, glancing with 



THE BOSTON DINNER 41 

a serious aspect at the reporters), I hope this rambling 
speech is not to be published, but the presence of those 
light-fingered gentry in the corner makes me fear that 
it is. 

To be serious, however, gentlemen. At my period 
of life, and in my position in society, I should not have 
felt justified in accepting your invitation had I regarded 
it as a tribute to mere genius; had I considered it only 
as an acknowledgment of allegiance, or as a desire to 
do honour to that mysterious and wayward power which 
is creative, but seldom discriminating; which catches 
and reflects every occurring ray of fancy, utterly regard- 
less whether it be useful or noxious ; which we are often 
compelled to admire at the very moment the associations 
it introduces into our minds fill us with shame, or pain, 
or disgust. 

In the writings of the gentleman in honour of whom 
we have now assembled, I saw, indeed, enough of that 
mysterious and wayward power to satisfy the cravings 
of that ambition, but I saw also something higher and 
better than genius. A tone uniformly moral, a purpose 
always excellent, thoughts deep and brilliant, yet ever 
transparent with purity; so that it may be truly said 
of this author, that in all the numerous pages which 
constitute his writings, there is not one through which 
the most delicate female mind may not pass "in maiden 
meditation, fancy free." 

These are substantial glories. It speaks well for 
the age, when a young man can thus write and be 
popular. It speaks for it more and better, when its 
young men are willing and anxious to applaud and 
do honour to the author of such writings. 

Gentlemen, I will detain you no longer, but conclude 
by giving you a toast, if my treacherous memory will 
so far serve me. I will give you 

Genius in (Here, however, the venerable 
president's memory did desert him, and after a brief 
interval spent in vain attempts to summon her to his 
aid, he looked pleasantly around, and said) 

Gentlemen, a good memory is a great thing, and 



42 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

I will give you all a piece of advice which it may be 
useful to you to remember. When you are not certain 
that you can keep a thing in your mind, be sure to keep 
it in your pocket. He then, enforcing his example, 
drew from his own pocket a scrap of paper, and 
read 

Genius In its legitimate use, uniting wit with purity ; 
instructing the high in their duties to the low; and by 
improving the morals, elevating the social condition 
of man. 

During the delivery of his speech, Mr. Quincy was 
frequently interrupted with bursts of laughter and 
applause, and the happy sally with which he got over 
his concluding difficulty set the company in a roar, 
which continued until the president of the evening, Mr. 
Quincy, Jr., arose and said that as the president of 
Harvard University had introduced to them Sam Weller, 
he would take the liberty to read to them one of the 
sayings of that distinguished personage 

"If ever I wanted anything of my father (said Sam) 
I always asked for it in a werry 'spectful and obliging 
manner. If he didn't give it me, I took it, for fear I 
should be led to do anything wrong through not 
having it." 

The president then called on one of the vice-presi- 
dents at the lower end of the hall, and Geo. S. Hillard, 
Esq., responded as follows 

Mr. President, Our meeting together this evening 
is one of the agreeable results of the sympathy estab- 
lished between two great and distant nations by a 
common language and common literature. We are 
paying our cheerful tribute of gratitude and admiration 
to one who, though heretofore a stranger to us in person, 
has made his image a familiar presence in innumerable 
hearts, who has brightened the sunshine of many a 
happy, and cheered the gloom of many a desponding 
breast, whose works have been companions to the soli- 
tary and a cordial in the sick man's chamber, and whose 
natural pathos and thoughtful humour, flowing from a 
genius as healthy as it is inventive, have drawn more 



THE BOSTON DINNER 43 

closely the ties which bind man to his brother man, and 
have given us a new sense of the wickedness of injustice, 
the deformity of selfishness, the beauty of self-sacrifice, 
the dignity of humble virtue, and the strength of that 
love which is found in "huts where poor men lie." The 
new harvest of applause which is gathered by the gifted 
minds of England, in a country separated from their 
own by three thousand miles of ocean, is a privilege 
peculiar to them, and one to which no author, however 
rich in golden opinions won at home, can feel himself 
indifferent. No brow can be so thickly shaded with 
indigenous laurels as not to wear, with emotion, those 
which are the growth of a foreign soil. There is no 
homage so true and unquestionable as that which the 
stranger offers. At home, the popularity of an author 
may, during his own life, at least, be greatly increased 
by circumstances not at all affecting the intrinsic value 
of his writings. The caprice of fashion, the accident of 
high rank or distinguished social position, the zeal of 
a literary faction or a political party, may invest some 
"Cynthia of the minute" with a brief notoriety, which 
resembles true fame only as the meteor does the star. 
But popularity of this kind is of too flimsy and delicate 
a texture to bear transportation. It is only merit of a 
solid and durable fabric which can survive a voyage 
across the Atlantic. It has been said, with as much 
truth as point, that a foreign nation is a sort of con- 
temporaneous posterity. Its judgment resembles the 
calm, unbiassed voice of future ages. It has no in- 
fusion of personal feeling; it is a serene and unimpas- 
sioned verdict, neither won by favour nor withheld from 
prejudice. The admiration which comes from afar off 
is valuable in the direct ratio of its distance, as there 
is the same degree of assurance that it springs from no 
secondary cause, but is a spontaneous and unbought 
tribute. An English author might see with compara- 
tive unconcern his book upon a drawing-room table in 
London, but should he chance to meet a well-thumbed 
copy of it in a log-house beyond our Western mountains, 
would not his heart swell with pride at the thought of 




44 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

the wide space through which his name was diffused, 
and his influence felt, and would not his lips almost 
unconsciously utterly the expression of the wandering 
Trojan 

" Quae regio in terris nostri non plena laboris ? " 

It is also probably true that, in our country, English 
authors find their warmest and most impassioned ad- 
mirers. It is as true of the mind as of the eye, that 
distance lends enchantment to the view. There are no 
hues so soft and delicate with which the imagination 
invests that which is unseen or faintly discerned. Re- 
moteness in space has the same idealizing effect as 
remoteness of time. The voice that comes to us from 
the dim distance is like that which comes to us from 
the dim past. We know, but we do not feel, the interval 
which separates Shakespeare from Scott, Milton from 
Wordsworth, Hume from Hallam. We know them only 
by those airy creations of the brain which speak to us 
through the printed page. Solitude, and silence too, 
are the nurses of deep and strong feeling. That imagin- 
ative element which exalts the love of Dante for 
Beatrice, and of Burns for his "Mary in Heaven," 
deepens the fervour of admiration with which the pale, 
enthusiastic scholar, in some lonely farmhouse in New 
England, hangs over a favourite author who, though 
perhaps a living contemporary, is recognized only as 
an absolute essence of genius, wisdom or truth. The 
minds of men whom we see face to face appear to 
shine upon us darkly through the infirmities of a mortal 
frame. Their faculties are touched by weariness or 
pain, or some humiliating weakness or unhandsome 
passion thrusts its eclipsing shadow between us and 
the light of their genius. Not so with those to whom 
they speak only through the medium of books. In these 
we see the products of those golden hours, when all that 
was low is elevated, when all that was dark is illumined, 
and all that was earthly is transfigured. Books have no 
touch of personal infirmity theirs is undying bloom, 
immortal youth, perennial fragrance. Age cannot 



THE BOSTON DINNER 45 

wrinkle, disease cannot blight, death cannot pierce 
them. The personal image of the author is quite as 
likely to be a hindrance as a help to his book. The 
actor who played with Shakespeare in his own Hamlet 
probably did but imperfect justice to that wonderful 
play, and the next-door neighbour of a popular author 
will be very likely to read his books with a carping, 
censorious spirit, unknown to him who has seen his 
visage only in his mind. 

Mr. President, I dwell with pleasure on the considera- 
tions to which an occasion like this gives birth. It is 
good for us to be here. Whatever has a tendency to 
make two great nations forget those things in which 
they differ, and remember those only in which they have 
a common interest, is a benefit to them both. Whatever 
makes the hearts of two countries beat in unison, makes 
them more enamoured of harmony, more sensitive to 
discord. Honour to the men of genius, who made two 
hemispheres thrill to the same electric touch ; who at the 
same time, and with the same potent spell, are ruling 
the hearts of men in the mountains of Scotland, the 
forests of Canada, the hillsides of New England, the 
prairies of Illinois and the burning plains of India. 
Their influence, so far as it extends, is a peaceful and a 
humanizing one. When you have instructed two men 
with the same wisdom, and charmed them with the same 
wit, you have established between them a bond of 
sympathy, however slight, and made it so much the 
more difficult to set them at variance. When I re- 
member the history of England, how much she has done 
for law, liberty, virtue and religion for all that beauti- 
fies and dignifies life when I recollect how much that 
is most valuable and characteristic in our own institu- 
tions is borrowed from her when I recall our obliga- 
tions to her matchless literature, I feel a throb of grati- 
tude that "Chatham's language is my mother-tongue," 
and my heart warms to the land of my fathers. I 
embrace with peculiar satisfaction every consideration 
that tends to give us a unity of spirit in the bond of 
peace to make us blind to each other's faults, and kind 






46 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

to each other's virtues. I feel all the force of the fine 
lines of one whom we have the honour to receive as a 
guest this evening 

"Though ages long have passed 

Since our fathers left their home, 
Their pilot in the blast, 

O'er untravelled seas to roam, 
Yet lives the blood of England in our veins ; 
And shall we not proclaim 
That blood of honest fame, 
Which no tyranny can tame 
By its chains ? 



"While the manners, while the arts 

That mould a nation's soul, 
Still cling around our hearts, 

Between, let ocean roll, 

Our joint communion breaking with the sun ; 
Yet still from either beach 
The voice of blood shall reach, 
More audible than speech 
We are one." 

It is now sixty-seven years since the rapid growth of 
our country was sketched by Mr. Burke, in the course 
of his speech on conciliation with America, in a passage 
whose picturesque beauty has made it one of the 
commonplaces of literature, in which he represents the 
angel of Lord Bathurst drawing up the curtain of 
futurity, unfolding the rising glories of England, and 
pointing out to him America, a little speck scarce visible 
in the mass of the national interest, yet which was 
destined before he tasted of death to show itself equal 
to the whole of that commerce which then attracted the 
admiration of the world. There are many now living 
whose lives extend over the whole of this period and 
during that space, what memorable changes have taken 
place in the relations of the two countries ! Let us 
imagine the angel of that illustrious orator and states- 
man, when the last words of that profound and beautiful 
speech were dying upon the air, withdrawing him from 
the congratulations of his friends, and unfolding to him 



THE BOSTON DINNER 47 

the future progress of that country, whose growth up to 
that period he had so felicitously sketched: "There is 
that America, whose interests you have so well under- 
stood and so eloquently maintained, which, at this 
moment, is taking measures to withdraw from the pro- 
tection and defy the power of the mother country. But 
mourn not that this bright jewel is destined to fall from 
your country's crown. It is in obedience to the same 
law of Providence which sends the full-fledged bird 
from the nest, and the man from his father's house. 
Man shall not be able to sever what the immutable laws 
of Providence have joined together. The charing chains 
of colonial dependence shall be exchanged for ties light 
as air, yet strong as steel. The peaceful and profitable 
interchange of commerce the same language a 
common literature similar laws and kindred institutions 
shall bind you together with cords which neither cold- 
blooded policy, nor grasping selfishness, nor fratricidal 
war shall be able to snap. Discoveries in science and 
improvements in art shall be constantly contracting the 
ocean which separates you, and the genius of steam 
shall link your shores together with a chain of iron and 
flame. A new heritage of glory shall await your men 
of genius in those now unpeopled solitudes. The grand 
and lovely creations of your myriad-minded Shakespeare 
the majestic line of Milton the stately energy of 
Dryden and the compact elegance of Pope shall form 
and train the minds of uncounted multitudes yet slum- 
bering in the womb of the future. Her gifted and 
educated sons shall come over to your shores with a 
feeling akin to that which sends the Mussulman to 
Mecca. Your St. Paul's shall kindle their devotion ; 
your Westminster Abbey shall warm their patriotism ; 
your Stratford-on-Avon and Abbotsford shall awaken 
in their bosoms a depth of emotion in which your own 
countrymen shall hardly be able to sympathize. Extra- 
ordinary physical advantages and the influence of genial 
institutions shall there give to the human race a rate 
of increase hitherto unparalleled; but the stream, how- 
ever much it be widened and prolonged, shall retain 



48 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

the character of the fountain from which it first flowed. 
Every wave of population that gains upon that vast 
green wilderness shall bear with it the blood, the speech 
and the books of England, and aid in transmitting to 
the generations that come after it, her arts, her litera- 
ture and her laws." If this had been revealed to him, 
would it not have required all the glow of his imagina- 
tion and all the strength of his judgment to believe it? 
Let us who are seeing the fulfilment of the vision utter 
the fervent prayer that no sullen clouds of coldness or 
estrangement may ever obscure these fair relations, and 
that the madness of man may never mar the benevolent 
purposes of God. 

Mr. Hillard concluded by giving the following toast, 
which was drunk standing 

The gifted minds of England Hers by birth; ours 
by adoption. 

The president said he did not know exactly who ought 
to respond to that sentiment. They had been taught, 
however, by their guest, that the greatest merit was often 
found in the byways of life, and he would therefore 
give 

The adopted authors of England, and the author of 
" The Highways and Byways of Old Ireland." 

Thomas C. Grattan, Esq., in responding to this toast, 
said 

Mr. President, Always ready to obey your call, 
always happy to respond to the voice of my eloquent 
friend at the other extremity of the table, I cheerfully 
rise to attempt, as best I may, the task you have assigned 
to me. Frequently, sir, as it has been my duty to 
perform a similar task at the public festivities of Boston, 
the pleasure was never greater, nor did ever I feel the 
duty lighter, than on this occasion. The many causes 
for the pleasure I need not dilate on; and as to the task, 
it has been almost entirely anticipated, and so ably, by 
what has been already said in praise of the literature 
and in honour of the genius of England, that for me to 
dwell at any length upon the theme would be no better 
than an ambitious attempt to emulate what I might not 
hope to equal. 






THE BOSTON DINNER 49 

And I might sit down now, sir, but that I am not 
able to resist the temptation of the position to which you 
have called me. I cannot avoid saying how proud I 
feel to have been associated by you with our glorious 
literature. I say ours, sir, emphatically, for it is ours 
alike, whether we be American, English or Irish. No 
matter in what country we may have been by accident 
born; our common language, stronger than claims of 
birth or parentage, makes that literature our common 
inheritance, as it is the common bond of union, which 
has brought us here to-night, and will bind us together 
for all time. Yes, sir, let what may happen in the 
chances of the future let the ties of commercial interests 
be one by one snapped asunder let even the charms of 
social intercourse be torn up by the roots and scattered 
to the winds by some political tempest, it will be but 
for a time; for the one link of that language in which 
we all speak and write and think will be strong enough 
to hold firm our sympathies, in the safe anchorage of 
literature, the glory of our respective nations, and a 
fertile field of delight to millions who labour or who 
sport within it. 

But I must not, Mr. President, indulge further in 
these desultory remarks, beyond touching on two special 
reasons for acknowledging the honour of being invited 
here to-day. The first is, sir, that I was so invited as a 
simple citizen of that great republic of letters to which 
so many now present belong which knows no titles, 
admits of neither kings nor consuls and to have been 
naturalized in which, as one of the humblest of its 
citizens, is the circumstance of my life to which I look 
back with the truest and most unalloyed satisfaction. 
Owing to my connection with literature, the pleasure of 
witnessing this fine social tribute to one of its brightest 
ornaments, my pride in all that does it honour is in a 
double degree gratified by this scene for he who 
receives and they who offer such a tribute are alike 
adding flowers to the wreaths hung up at the shrine of 
literary fame, at which we are all worshippers. 

My second reason, sir, for being particularly pleased 
at being among you to-day is that it was explicitly 





50 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

and considerately made known to me that I was asked 
to make one of a company of young men and that no 
unlucky individual beyond the age of thirty, or there- 
abouts a generous latitude had any chance of being 
admitted. Before I received this invitation, sir, I con- 
fess that I had some serious misgivings, some vague 
suspicions that I had actually passed the boundary-line 
between youth and age a boundary-line which they on 
its wrong side are as unwilling to acknowledge as the 
borderers on any other boundary-line whatever. And in 
truth, sir, I found I could not long deceive myself with 
the notion to the contrary. But I for a while fondly 
imagined, sir, that I might possibly succeed in deceiv- 
ing others as to the sad reality. I first thought of 
laying some "flattering unction" to my whiskers to 
change their rather equivocal tints. I next thought of 
wearing a wig by hook or by crook endeavouring to 
make the grey one brown ; and so, by deceiving my 
juvenile friends on this occasion, turning Papinti's Hall 
into another "Dotheboys Hall." 

But, gentlemen, I was spared the necessity of playing 
any of those fantastic tricks by learning who was to be 
the president of the feast. Remembering at once the 
many lively and youthful sallies I had so often listened 
to from his lips, and that the very head and front of 
my offending was his as. well; and hating, all my life, 
to fight, and more especially to drink, under false 
colours, I thought I should be safe in serving under 
the banner he hung out, and that there could be no 
shame to England, while there was sure to be so much 
glory to America. I had, moreover, a shrewd notion 
that spirits of various shades would be mingled here 
to-night; and finding that I could not claim a right to 
muster among the black ones, I thought I would be 
content to range myself among the white. 

And I am content, gentlemen satisfied that it is 
little matter how soon the head grows grey so long as 
the heart keeps green, and that mixing in scenes like 
this is the true method to preserve that verdure of the 
feelings which makes us indifferent to the march of 
time, and for a long time at least insensible to the 






THE BOSTON DINNER 51 

approach of age. My countryman, Moore, tells us, in 
one of his exquisite songs, that 

"The best of all ways 
To lengthen our days, 
Is to steal a few hours from the night." 

I hope, Mr. President, that under your victorious 
auspices we shall carry out that maxim of true philo- 
sophy to a large practical extent on this occasion ; and 
I may perhaps be allowed to add, by way of parody or 
of parallel and for the special consolation of the vener- 
able gentlemen of thirty or thereabouts that 

The best way for old men to spin out life's joys, 
Is, as oft as they can, to crack jokes with the boys. 

Mr. Grattan concluded by proposing the health of 
Richard H. Dana, Jr., author of Two Years before 
the Mast. 

The president said that, as the gentleman had served 
so long before the mast, the company would like to see 
him on the quarter-deck. 

On appearing in compliance with the call of the presi- 
dent, Mr. Dana was received with repeated cheers. He 
said that nothing could have been more unexpected to 
him, who was among the youngest of those present, 
than to be called up in the manner in which he had 
been, and at so early a period in the evening. The 
president had made an allusion to his service before the 
mast, but he could assure those who heard him that, 
whatever of romance might be associated with a sailor's 
life, in his estimation not two whole years of it could 
be compared with one moment of the society and appro- 
bation of the friends he saw around him. It had been 
his fortune, he said, to travel in lands little known to 
the geographer, but it had been the fortune of their guest 
to travel in new worlds of thought and of imagination. 
Tracing a parallel between the discoveries of Mr. Dickens 
in the intellectual world, which were among the greatest 
events of the ages to which they respectively belonged, 
Mr. Dana said that their guest had made a new era in 
literature; and should D'lsraeli undertake a continua- 

2 



52 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

tion of his curiosities, the most remarkable circumstance 
among them all would be the fact that a young man, by 
the' mere power of his genius, had in a few brief years 
so endeared himself to the people of a land not his own 
as to make a triumphal progress through it. Without 
detaining the company further, except to thank them 
for the kind manner in which they had received the com- 
pliment which had been given to himself, Mr. Dana 
said he would conclude by proposing 

The Columbus of modern literature We welcome 
him to the new world, who has himself opened new 
worlds to us. 

The president said that after the personal attack 
which Mr. Grattan had made upon his hair, it was 
hardly fair for him to make so direct a shot at his young 
friend, Mr. Dana. It was what Sam Weller would call 
"addin' insult to injury, as the parrot said ven they 
not only took him from his native land, but made him 
talk the English language arterwards." While he was 
on the subject of Mr. Weller's sayings, he would add 
that another extract from the works of his young friend 
(Mr. Dickens) had been handed to him, which he would 
read: "You've got a pretty voice, a very soft eye, and 
a very strong memory" "you know forty-seven songs. 
Forty-seven's your number. Let me hear one of 'em 
the best. Give me a song this minute," Dr. Holmes. 

The call of the President was so strongly seconded 
by the cheers of the assembly that the gentleman pointed 
at (Dr. O. W. Holmes) could not resist it; and, without 
a single excuse (thus making himself an exception to 
all the singers that have gone before him), favoured the 
company with the following original song 

SONG (air: Gramackree) 

The stars their early vigils keep, 

The silent hours are near 
When drooping eyes forget to weep 

Yet still we linger here. 
And what the passing churl may ask 

Can calm such wondrous power, 
That Toil forgets his wonted task, 

And Love his promised hour? 



THE BOSTON DINNER 53 

The Irish harp no longer thrills, 

Or breathes a fainter tone 
The clarion blast from Scotland's hills, 

Alas ! no more is blown ; 
And passion's burning lip bewails 

Her Harold's wasted fire, 
Still lingering o'er the dust that veils 

The Lord of England's lyre. 

But grieve not o'er its broken strings, 

Nor think its soul hath died, 
While yet the lark at heaven's gate sings, 

As once o'er Avon's side ; 
While gentle summer sheds her bloom, 

And dewy blossoms wave 
Alike o'er Juliet's storied tomb 

And Nelly's nameless grave. 

Thou glorious island of the sea ! 

Though wide the wasting flood 
That parts our distant land from thee 

We claim thy generous blood ; 
Nor o'er thy far horizon springs 

One hallowed star of fame, 
But kindles, like an angel's wings, 

Our western skies in flame ! 

The president said that they had been told by the 
president of Harvard College that it was a very good 
thing for a man to carry his toast in his pocket, lest his 
memory might fail. He had so far acted upon that 
principle as to prepare a toast which he had hoped would 
draw a speech from His Excellency Governor Davis, but 
he unfortunately had kept it in his pocket too long, for 
the Governor had been compelled, on account of indis- 
position, to retire at an early hour. The toast was 

The political pilots of Old England and of New 
England Though their titles may be different, they 
observe the same luminaries in the literary, and steer 
by the same stars in the moral, horizon. 

For what they had lost in his remissness in not read- 
ing the toast before, he said he could only console 
them by another maxim from Sam Weller's philosophy : 
"It's all over and can't be helped, and that's one con- 
solation, as they always say in Turkey ven they cuts 
the wrong man's head off." 



54 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

The president now gave 

Washington Allston He who unites the genius of 
the poet, the pencil of the painter, and the pen of the 
novelist; his name shall glow for ever upon the eternal 
canvas. 

Mr. Allston arose immediately, and in a low but firm 
tone, said 

Mr. President I hope my late illness, from which 
I have hardly recovered, will be a sufficient apology for 
my not attempting a speech. Were I to make one it 
would be my maiden speech, which can hardly be 
expected from one at my time of life. I have been 
lately trying to bottle up some of the healthful spirits 
of our friend Barnaby, which I had hoped would have 
served on this occasion ; but I found, to my sorrow, 
that our friend Grip has wickedly uncorked all the 
bottles. Since, then, I cannot make a speech, I beg 
leave to propose a toast 

The prophetic raven who only spoke to posterity, 
when he cried, " Never say die, " to Barnaby Rudge. 

Gentlemen, said the president, should you like to 
hear what Sam Weller has to say in reply to the 
speech of our friend? It is, "Werry glad to see you, 
sir, indeed, and hope our acquaintance may be a long 
one, as the gentleman said to the fi' pun note." 

In reply to a sentiment in honour of the merchants 
of Boston, J. Thomas Stevenson, Esq., one of the vice- 
presidents, gave the following address- 
Mr. President, Nothing short of your direct call 
upon me would have induced me to undertake to answer 
for the merchants here; for I am fully aware that your 
committee of arrangements honoured me with a seat 
here to-night, not in expectation that I could contribute 
to the literary treat of the evening, but from a desire on 
their part to show a kind respect to the commercial com- 
munity. The gentlemen composing that committee 
know that our figures are not figures of speech that our 
notes are not commentaries that our letters are not 
belles-lettres that our stores are not stores of know- 
ledge and that our folios are rich with nothing, unless 
perhaps with legendary lore. 



THE BOSTON DINNER 55 

But as you have called upon me, I will say one word 
in obedience alike to that call and to the feelings which 
the present occasion provokes. 

It is a subject of real congratulation that the literary 
men of the old world are evincing a desire to acquaint 
themselves by personal observation with the institu- 
tions of our country, and with the habits of our 
people. Nothing could do more to remove any unjust 
impressions which may exist; and we may say, without 
subjecting ourselves to the suspicion of vain-boasting, 
that he who visits us with an open mind, and takes a 
liberal view of all that is presented to him here, will 
find much to interest him in the seeming contradictions 
by which he will be surrounded. Let it be my task to 
tell our guest of some things which he will find here. 

He will find us a very inviting people. He will find 
hosts of peculiarities to enjoy, and we will trust that he 
may enjoy the peculiarities of the hosts which he finds. 

He will find us full of paradoxes. For he will find 
the great problem of self-government approaching its 
solution the great experiment of democracy, monarch- 
like, claiming the crown for its issue. 

He will find our army a militia never in camp, yet 
always "intent" "upon duty" 

He will find the great cause of temperance advancing 
with rapid strides, and every drunkard brandied with 
disgrace. 

He will find a judiciary respected by all, excepting 
perhaps at the present moment those who have been in 
the habit of standing at the bar. And if he should go 
into one of our courts, he will find the bench occupied 
by a "warring of wits." 

He will find our medical schools vicing with the 
pulpit in delivering us from false doctoring. He will 
find the means of education within the reach of all, 
through our common schools, while we are boasting all 
the time that they are uncommon schools. 

He will find the religious sentiment developing itself 
in all its forms, from the rough madness of mormon- 
ism to the polished insanity of transcendentalism 
good in all, with a prior right in none. 



56 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

He will find no House of Lords here; but most of us 
lords of houses and our commons amply stored with 
provisions for the support of the constitution. He will 
find all men peers and then may wonder how it is so 
many of our dames are peerless. 

He will find want purely mechanical pinching only 
through the instrumentality of some vice. He will find 
no pillory here, but a great variety of stocks; and will 
see whole states setting examples of self-sacrifice, by 
turning a deaf ear to the demands of interest; and if he 
go into our non-specie-paying states, he will find no 
"coigne of vantage" there. And if it be not too far- 
fetched, he may go to Carolina to study the rice of this 
great empire, and thence hasten to Niagara to con- 
template its tremendous fall. And he may be shocked 
by the ungrammatical assurance of those of us who are 
here to-night, that the present time is pastime, and that 
we ought to parse the bottle without declining it. 

These are things, sir, which every man may find. 
But if he be one who has recalled literature from 
mysterious wanderings in the clouds, to deal with and 
adorn the realities of life if he be one whose works 
will not follow him simply because they have preceded 
him here if he be one who has touched the spring of 
human action and sounded the very depths of the soul 
if he be one whose genuine wit has made us laugh till 
we have cried, while his real pathos has wrung out the 
unwilling tears until their very sources were dry if 
he be one who has exposed to us the enormities of 
obscure vice, while he has cleared away the rubbish 
from the brilliants of humble virtue, he will find here a 
welcome and a home. 

And, Mr. President, if you will allow to me only time 
to offer a toast, he shall find how soon, in this country 
of rapid growths, the unpractised talker can become a 
finished speaker. 

Mr. President, I see a friend from whom I wish to 
hear, and so will propose 

The U.S. District Attorney The right hand of the 
law is raised for no sinister purpose. 




THE BOSTON DINNER 57 

To this play upon his name, Franklin Dexter, Esq., 
replied 

Mr. President, Being but little given to utter dinner 
speeches, I hardly know how to answer the punning 
attack upon my name from my friend at the lower end 
of the table. While I thank him for the kind but un- 
merited compliment it conveys, I should feel tempted, 
since his own name will not admit of any but an equi- 
vocal expression of my respect, to attempt a return in 
kind upon that of our distinguished guest, which is not 
safe from a very bad pun, when we ask him how he has 
been able thus to excite all this enthusiasm in a strange 
people. But as I doubt not he has heretofore suffered 
in that way, I forbear; and being myself a man more 
punned against than punning, I will only take the occa- 
sion seriously to express my participation in the general 
joy of the whole table. 

Our satisfaction at this meeting is not the mere grati- 
fication of curiosity; though we might well be curious 
to know one who has himself known so much of the 
various conditions and humours of life. But, in addition 
to the pleasure of his personal acquaintance, we have 
that of believing that the interchange of visits between 
the distinguished literary men of the two countries must 
have a beneficial effect upon their most important rela- 
tions. No class of men have so much influence over the 
feelings and opinions of their countrymen as popular 
authors. It is within our recent recollection that the 
most unkind feelings towards England have been pro- 
duced here by the wanton attacks of some of our dis- 
tinguished authors upon the character of her whole 
population and institutions; and it is by no means 
certain that our political relations with her have not been 
materially affected by so very inadequate a cause. In 
this view it is a source of great satisfaction to see those 
who lead the popular sentiment in the two countries 
becoming better acquainted and more closely united; 
and let me offer you as a toast 

The Universal Brotherhood of Literature a pacifi- 
cator of the nations. 



58 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

The president here read the following letter from the 
author of Ferdinand and Isabella 



Bedford Street, January 21,1 842. 

GENTLEMEN, 

I beg leave to acknowledge my sense of the 
honour you have done me in inviting me to be present 
at your proposed dinner to Mr. Dickens. Be assured 
it would give me sincere pleasure to join with you in 
this homage to this distinguished foreigner, whose writ- 
ings have secured him such deserved consideration in 
the Republic of Letters. But the irritable state of my 
eyes, which would be sure to suffer from the excitement 
and heat of such an occasion, compels me to forgo the 
pleasure I should otherwise have had, of sharing in your 
festivities. My spirit, however, will be with you and if 
you will allow me, I will propose the following senti- 
ment 

The Alchymy of Genius which can extract truth 
from fiction, wisdom from folly, and pure morality from 
vice itself. 

With much respect, gentlemen, 

Believe me, your obliged and obedient servant, 

WM. H. PRESCOTT. 

To G. T. Bigelow, Esq.; N. Hale, Jr., Esq.; Jona. 
F. Barrett, Esq.; Fred. W. Crocker, Esq.; W. W. 
Story, Esq., Committee of Invitation. 

The president now gave the following toast 
The Historian of America He who has portrayed 
the discovery, and he who has illustrated the progress 
of our native land. 

George Bancroft, Esq., being thus alluded to, rose 
and delivered' a very eloquent and soul-stirring address, 
in the course of which he said he recognized the young 
men of the country as the highest tribunal before which 
aspirants for honour could plead. They are to take our 
places, and make up the judgment on our labours. 
Their regard, their good opinion, their generous sym- 



THE BOSTON DINNER 59 

pathy was the best reward. He recalled rapidly the 
names of many, who in early life gained highest dis- 
tinction ; and paid a warm tribute to the guest of the 
day, who had put so much heart into all that he did, 
as to make himself, while a young man, not only world 
renowned, but world beloved. 

The occasion, too, was auspicious as a tribute 
generally to letters. To two men who had come up 
to Paris possessed of no other power than that of writing 
French well, France had paid the tribute of highest 
stations; the purpose to-day was to do honour to one 
who rested his right to public respect solely on his 
genius, and the noble use he had made of it. 

Yet, Mr. Bancroft observed, the regard manifested 
for the guest was a homage also to the spirit of popular 
liberty. The great tendency of modern civilization was 
everywhere towards the increase of the power of the 
people, the recognition of the claims of every man to 
franchises and a share of authority. The movement in 
the world of letters corresponded; a writer who joined 
the rare gifts of humour, pathos and creative power, had 
made fiction the vehicle of a defence of the rights of the 
humblest, and by the force of his talent compelled the 
world to follow humanity even to the poor-house, and 
acknowledge that it could be redeemed even from the 
haunts of infamy. 

Then, too, the occasion was a symbol of a kind of 
union among the many millions who have the English 
for their mother-tongue. Mr. Bancroft repelled the idea 
that England was to make its power recognized by the 
sound of its martial airs following the sun in its course; 
yet he exulted in the thought that in every zone the 
English is the united tongue of nations ripening for 
freedom ; that under every meridian its literature is the 
delight of the gay and the solace of the sad. 

Nor was this union confined to language only- Mr. 
Bancroft pointed out the common right of America to a 
large part of English literature. He observed how many 
of their greatest minds had expressed the heartiest interest 
in the New World, and had been most able defenders 
of the principles on which our institutions are founded. 



60 

In particular, allusion was made to Lord Byron. 
The purpose he so often expressed of visiting this 
country, the political aspect of his writings, his scoff- 
ing at the vices of false civilization, his zeal for the 
overthrow of abuses and the progress of reform ; his 
hearty sympathy with this country as shown in his 
giving a place in his writings to the backwoodsman as 
well as to Washington. 

Mr. Bancroft, in conclusion, compared the enthusiasm 
with which Byron's works had been welcomed all the 
world over, with the tribute paid to genius now, and 
gave 

The memory of Lord Byron Light lie the turf on 
the ashes of the poet who was ever the adversary of 
tyranny over mind. 

The speech and sentiment of Mr. Bancroft were 
received with enthusiastic applause. 

When silence was restored, the president inquired if 
gentlemen remembered the excursion made by Mr. 
Pickwick and his companions, Snodgrass and Winkle, 
to Dingley Dell, and the particulars of that melancholy 
ride? Presuming that they did, he would not detain 
them with a narration of them, but would merely read 
the pathetic words of Mr. Pickwick, in reference to the 
horse which he could not get rid of on that occasion 

"' It's like a dream,' ejaculated Mr. Pickwick, 'a 
hideous dream. The idea of a man's walking about all 
day with a dreadful horse that he can't get rid of.' ' 

Gentlemen (continued the president), I will give you 
the mayor 

The horse that Mr. Pickwick could not get rid of, 
and the mayor that nobody even wants to get rid of. 

This toast called up the Hon. Jonathan Chapman, the 
mayor, who made the following humorous reply 

More than tongue can tell, sir, even if it had ages 
to wag in, am I obliged for the very complimentary 
character of the sentiment you have just announced. It 
was so disinterested such a spontaneous, irrepressible 
tribute on your part, to unmitigated merit on mine, that 
from very considerably deeper down than the bottom 



THE BOSTON DINNER 61 

of my heart, I thank you. But no, sir, I am not quite 
as green as that. The plain English, as I judge from 
what has preceded, or, to speak more properly, the 
familiar Latin of the whole matter is this : " Expectatur," 
I will not say, "orafio," for that is too pretending a 
title, but "dissertatio in lingua vernacula a Chapman" 

You will be disappointed, however, sir. With what- 
ever authority another individual whose name you bear 
might utter these cabalistic words, I recognize no such 
authority in you. I shall attempt no dissertation, and 
that for two of Mr. Weller senior's reasons : first, 
because I can't, and second, because I won't. 

I am aware that I am indebted to the office which I 
hold, and not to any personal claims of my own, for 
the privilege of participating in this beautiful scene. 
Yes, sir, one of the beautiful amongst human things 
the spontaneous, heartfelt tribute of the young men of 
one country, not to the rank and wealth, but to the 
mingled intellect and soul of one who, though yet 
young, has communed with and touched more hearts 
than ages of common life would permit, and who, in 
whatever land he may have been born, will find a 
welcome and a home wherever there is a heart to beat, 
or where a spark of humanity lingers. 

I say that I owe to my office the privilege of being 
here. Permit me, therefore, to draw on my office for 
all that I have to say to-night. And let me just premise 
that it is one of its principal duties to receive com- 
plaints, for this is a complaining world, and the quarter 
in which we live is by no means an exception. 

As I was seated in my chair this morning not 
asleep, and therefore it could not have been a dream 
there entered two persons, evidently strangers. The one 
was an elderly gentleman, with a mild and beaming 
countenance; the other much younger, and evidently 
one of those peculiar personages, half companion, half 
servant, whom you always find attending upon good 
old gentlemen. Though I had never seen them before 
in person, they seemed like old acquaintances. They 
interested me at once, and I have no doubt they will 



62 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

this whole assembly, when I say that one of them was 
no less a personage than the honourable Samuel Pick- 
wick and the other by no means dishonourable Mr. 
Samuel Weller. 

Yes, sir, there stood in the mayor's office, in this 
city, to-day, the great and good Mr. Pickwick with 
his bald head so glossy that, if he could turn his own 
eyes upon it, he would need no looking-glass to make 
his toilet with the same "circular spectacles" which 
he always wore, only that one glass had been knocked 
out in the immense rush to embrace him immediately 
upon his landing clothed in those immortal tights and 
gaiters which are proof positive of the modern transcend- 
ental doctrine that a man is nothing without his tailor 
there stood, in short, that illustrious individual whom 
no description can describe one half so well as the simple 
epithet, "Mr. Pickwick." And just in the rear, yet so 
nearly by his side as to seem to say, "almost your 
equal, but not quite," stood honest, funny Samuel 
Weller, grasping his hat so closely under his arm that 
he seemed to be holding on upon himself as if he 
feared he were in a land of kidnappers. 

I was about to approach these distinguished visitors, 
w-hen Mr. Pickwick advanced, evidently charged with 
a speech which would brook no delay in the delivery, 
and placing himself in his peculiar attitude, "with his 
left hand gracefully concealed behind his coat-tails, 
and his right gracefully raised in the air to aid his 
flowing declamation," at once commenced. With your 
permission, I will endeavour to repeat what he said 

"Mr. Mayor," said he, "the love of one's friend is 
natural to man, and of one's benefactors, most par- 
ticularly natural. You love yours, and I cannot deny 
that I am influenced by the same tender feelings. There 
has come to this country, and is now in your city, the 
youthful but learned editor of the Transactions of the 
Pickwick Club, of which I have the honour to be the 
General Chairman, as will appear by the letters 
G.C.M.P.C. upon my card, which I have the honour 
to hand you. I stand in a peculiar relation to this man, 



THE BOSTON DINNER 68 

one never known before; indeed, a truly Pickwickian 
relation, namely, that he first created me, and then I 
made him. He is, too, the choice spirit of our club. 
I love him. Mr. Winkle loves him. Mr. Tupman 
loves him. Mr. Snodgrass loves him. All love him. 
Indeed, we never should have consented that he should 
visit this strange country unless some of us had been 
secretly sent to take care of him. For we have learned 
that you are a curious people here that, as it has been 
said, whom the gods love die young, so whom the 
Americans love they utterly kill with kindness." 

"Yes," interrupted Mr. Weller, unable longer to 
repress his feelings, "it is currently reported in our 
circles that, when the Americans fancies a stranger, 
they makes him into weal pie, and dewours him." 

"Hush, Samuel," said Mr. Pickwick; "don't use hard 
words. Never get into a passion, particularly in foreign 
countries, where you don't know the customs. But, 
Mr. Mayor, this is my source of trouble, and I come 
to complain that your people seem determined to ex- 
tinguish our editor. I have been trying to get at him 
for a week, but have not dared to trust my gaiters 
amidst the crowds that surround him. I tremble when 
I hear of two dinners in one day, and four suppers in 
one night. I fear you have designs upon his life, nay, 
that you mean to eat him up." 

"Sir," interrupted I, "do I understand you aright? 
Do you mean to insinuate that the American people 
are cannibals ? Do you use your words in their common 
sense ? " 

"O no, sir," replied Mr. Pickwick, resuming his 
blandest expression. " I respect and honour the American 
people. I mean to say they are cannibals only in a 
Pickwickian point of view. But, besides my personal 
attachment, I desire this man's life to be spared, for the 
sake of science, and for the cause of humanity, and of 
the club. Think not that the club has been sleeping, 
whilst its editor has been visiting the poor-houses and 
hovels, touching your hearts and making you better 
men, by his truthful descriptions. We have been 



64 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

gathering materials, and are doing so still. Even your 
own country may furnish some of these materials; 
not, however, I assure you, for the purposes of bold 
and coarse personalities, either of praise or of censure, 
but for the delicate and beautiful touches of character, 
those life-like and soul-stirring descriptions those 
pictures of humanity, which show that, behind the 
drapery of human forms and distinctions, the true 
element of a man is a warm and beating heart. These 
are the purposes for which we are at work purposes, 
sir, for which, though I, Samuel Pickwick, say it, the 
editor of the Pickwick Club has no superior upon the 
face of the earth. 

"I pray you therefore," said he, rising to a pitch of 
enthusiasm which almost choked his utterance, "I pray 
you to protect him. Let him not be overrun. Let him 
not be devoured. Spare him to return again to the halls 
of the club. Spare him, sir, and the blessings of 
Winkle, Tupman, Snodgrass, Pickwick and the whole 
race of Pickwickians, shall be on you and yours." 

Having thus uttered himself, and leaving his 
respects for you, sir, and for this assembly, he took his 
leave. 

Feeling myself most particularly honoured by this 
interview, I give you as a sentiment 

The Hon. Samuel Pickwick, and the Pickwick Club, 
and its editor "May they never say die." 

" And when they next do ride abroad, 
May we be there to see." 

Mr. J. T. Stevenson, in relation to the fears expressed 
by Mr. Pickwick, as reported by the mayor, that the 
editor of the Pickwick Papers would be extinguished 
in America, hoped that at any rate he would not be put 
out by anything that might take place on the present 
occasion. 

Mr. J. M. Field ("Straw") being called upon for a 
song, he gave the following original and characteristic 
production, to a popular air 



THE BOSTON DINNER 65 




Remember vot I says, Boz 

You're going to cross the sea ; 
A blessed vay avays, Boz, 

To vild Amerikey ; 
A blessed set of savages, 

As books of travels tells ; 
No guv'ner's eye to watch you, Boz, 

Nor even Samivel's. 

They've 'stablished a steam line, Boz, 

A wi'lent innowation ; 
It's nothing but a trap to 'tice 

Our floatir? population. 
A set of blessed cannibals 

My wamin' I repeats 
For ev'ry vun they catches, Boz, 

Vithout ado they eats. 

They'll eat you, Boz, in Boston ! and 
They'll eat you in New York ! 

Wherever caught, they'll play a bles- 
sed game of knife and fork ! 

There's prayers in Boston now that Cu- 
nard's biler may not burst ; 

Because their savage hope it is, 
Dear Boz, to eat you first. 

They lately caught a prince, Boz, 

A livin' vun, from France ; 
And all the blessed nation, Boz, 

Assembles for a dance! 
They spares him thro' the ev'nin', Boz, 

But vith a hungry stare, 
Contrives a early supper, tho', 

And then they eats him there ! 

Just think of all of yours, Boz, 

Devoured by them already ; 
Avoid their greedy lures, Boz, 

Their appetites is steady ; 
For years they've been a feastin', Boz 

Nor paid for their repast ; 
And von't they make a blessed feast 

Ven they catches you at last ! 



66 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Lord! how they gobbled " Pickwick" fate 

Which "Oliver" befel ! 
And watering mouths met " Nic " and " Smike,' 

And watering eyes as well ! 
Poor " Nell " was not too tender, Boz, 

Nor ugly " Quilp " too tough ; 
And " Barnaby "I'm blest if e'er 

I thinks they'll have enough ! 

I'll tell you what you does, Boz, 

Since go it seems you vill ; 
If you would not expose, Boz, 

Yourself their maws to fill ; 
Just "Marryatt" or " Trollope," Boz, 

Vithin your pocket hem ; 
For blow me if I ever thinks 

They'll ever swallow them ! 



This song excited peals of laughter at every line, and 
at the conclusion there was a spontaneous outburst, 
which proved how universal was the sentiment ex- 
pressed in the last stanza, in relation to two of the most 
amiable individuals who have honoured this country 
with a visit. The president complimented the author 
by another draft upon the sage observations of Mr. 
Weller 

"'Ah,' said the little man, 'you're a wag, ain't 
you ? ' " 

" ' My eldest brother was troubled with that complaint,' 
said Sam ; ' it may be catching ; I used to sleep with 
him.' " 

The president here read the following letter from 
Washington Irving 

Sunny side, January 25, 1842. 

GENTLEMEN, 

I have this moment received your letter of the 
iyth instant, which has probably been detained in New 
York. I regret extremely that circumstances put it out 
of my power to accept your very obliging invitation to 
the dinner about to be given to Mr. Dickens. 







THE BOSTON DINNER 67 

Accept, gentlemen, my best thanks for this very 
flattering mark of good-will, and believe me, 
Very respectfully, 

Your obliged and humble servant, 

WASHINGTON IRVING. 

Messrs. George Tyler Bigelow, Nathan Hale, Jr., 
Jonathan Fay Barrett, Frederick W. Crocker, W. W. 
Story, Committee of Invitation. 

The following toast was then proposed 

Geoffrey Crayon May he who has exhibited the 
sunny side of Old England long live on the "Sunny- 
side " of America. 

The president next gave 

Richard H. Dana, Sr. The glory of fathers is their 
children, and the glory of children is their fathers. 

Mr. Dana, in acknowledging this compliment, spoke 
of the sacred nature of the allusions which induced him 
to rise, and added that, like many others, he felt a degree 
of gratitude to the distinguished guest of the evening. 
From his writings he had derived joy, hour after hour ; 
and even more than that, in reading many of his pas- 
sages he had felt a sorrow that was dearer than joy. 
He then referred to some of the lighter characteristics 
of the productions of Mr. Dickens, and concluded by 
humorously observing that as talking was rather dry 
work, he would take the liberty of tendering to Mr. 
Dickens Bob Sawyer's invitation in Bob Sawyer's words 
- of asking him "if he would take something to drink." 

The president here read the following letters from 
Drs. Channing and Stuart 

GENTLEMEN, 

I thank you for your invitation to the dinner to 
be given to Mr. Dickens. I have many sympathies with 
you and with the gentlemen whom you represent, in 
regard to this distinguished writer, but it will not be in 
my power to accept your invitation. 

Very truly yours, 

WILLIAM E. CHANNING. 
To the Committee of Invitation, 
r 2 



68 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Andover, January 22, 1842. 

GENTLEMEN, 

Your note of the i7th inst. reached me yesterday. 
I thank you most sincerely for the kind invitation which 
it contains. Most gladly would I accept it if circum- 
stances permitted. Mr. Dickens's works have been a 
favourite source of resort for me, when I wished to relax 
from graver study. There is so much in them to excite 
the imagination, to interest the feelings, and to make 
man kinder and more beneficent to his fellow-man, that 
I have come to entertain a high regard for the author, 
and a lively interest in his success and future usefulness. 
Most eagerly would I embrace any proper occasion to 
make acquaintance with him, and to do him honour. 

I doubt not that you will enjoy "the feast of reason 
and the flow of soul." But my present engagements, 
and the state of my health, forbid me to accept your 
friendly proposal. In spirit I shall be present with you, 
and with my whole soul give a most hearty welcome to 
Mr. Dickens on his entrance into a new world. We 
have material enough here for him to construct several 
new edifices, perhaps some with which he may rear a 
temple that will perpetuate his name among us. 

I never write toasts, much less do I drink them. But 
if I could be present with you, I should be greatly 
tempted to volunteer the following 

The Star from the East, which has thrilled so many 
hearts with joy by its radiance, and scattered light over 
so many dark places filled with the habitation of cruelty 
May equal splendour attend its remaining course, and 
its setting be in a heaven of unclouded glory ! 
I am, gentlemen, with much respect, 
Your obedient servant, 

MOSES STUART. 

Messrs. G. T. Bigelow, X. Hale, Jr., and others. 

The president gave 

The Clergy of Xew England There may be among 
them differences of faith in religion, but no difference 



THE BOSTON DINNER 69 

of feeling concerning the great interests of humanity; 
and called on the Rev. Dr. Palfrey, who responded with 
great felicity, and in the course of his remarks argued 
in favour of the passage of laws in England and 
America, securing to the authors of each nation the 
profits of their works in both, and concluded with the 
following sentiment 

Mutual justice between nations, extending to the 
mutual protection of the fabrics of the mind. 

The president, after alluding to the ingenious ex- 
pedient practised by that most noted "sawbones," Dr. 
Robert Sawyer, to attract the public attention when just 
entering upon his professional life the leaving of an 
empty bottle at all the houses in his neighbourhood, "by 
mistake " gave 

The medical profession They have left off the 
practice of sending around empty bottles for their own 
profit, and are doing all in their power to prevent other 
people from sending round full ones for their comfort. 

Dr. Bigelow being called on, responded to this toast 
as follows 

Mr. Chairman I confess that I do not perceive in the 
present exigency any very urgent occasion for calling 
in the services of the meclical profession. It seems to 
me that we are surrounded by good looks and good 
spirits, and, as far as we may trust appearances, there 
has been no especial lack of good appetites. And if I 
were permitted to extend a little further my medical 
report on the condition of the present meeting, I should 
say that the pulse of this assembly beats with but one 
measure, and that the tongues which have been put 
forth on this occasion are certainly of the smoothest 
description. 

I might proceed further with my professional remarks, 
but find myself forestalled by the chairman, who, in his 
introductory speech, has informed the meeting that a 
foreign practitioner has arrived among us, and that he 
"has been giving us medicines." If it be so, sir, my 
occupation is gone. Nevertheless, I shall not exhibit 
any professional jealousy, nor shall I favour the pro- 



70 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

position which has been made this evening, to deliver 
over the new visitor to be "eaten by cannibals." The 
worst I wish him is that, when he is again invited to 
dine, he may not have to "eat his own words" upon 
quite so large a scale as he has done this evening. 

The chairman has not enlightened us upon the char- 
acter of the newly-discovered medicine, whether it be 
poppy or mandragora, or some more potent drug. But 
if I may risk a conjecture, he must mean a certain 
foreign composition, which has lately been imported in 
the form of papers, bearing the stamp and label of 
Pickwick & Co. This is a very good medicine, sir, and 
has many things to recommend it. In the first place, 
it is very accessible, being placarded in all our shop 
windows, and kept in every man's house. It is also 
economical, for a little of it goes a long way, and it is 
acknowledged by all to be "very filling for the price." 
Furthermore, sir, it is very convenient, for it does not 
require the old prudential precaution, "when taken to 
be well shaken," for those who take it are very sure to 
shake themselves. 

But, sir, like all other agreeable stimulants, its use 
requires caution. It is found that those who resort to it 
are very apt to fall into an habitual indulgence. The 
victims of this practice are not unfrequently confined 
to their houses ; they grow indifferent to objects around 
them ; the muscles of their faces are affected by spas- 
modic movements; and, finally, they fall into convul- 
sions. And the worst of it is, sir, that we have no 
remedy for the evil, nor efficient means of preventing 
it. My excellent friend at the other end of the table has 
talked about temperance measures, but if we propose a 
total abstinence society, nobody will sign the pledge. 
And if we look around at those who are sipping at this 
fountain in hopes to influence the moderate drinkers, 
they will tell us there are no such persons to be found. 
And when we threaten them with the serious conse- 
quences which must follow their infatuation, they tell 
us that, whatever the consequences may be, they are 
certainly anything but serious. 



THE BOSTON DINNER 



71 




In short, Mr. Chairman, I fear there is no such thing 
as resisting this tide of popular sentiment. For how 
can we expect to influence an excited multitude, with 
scarce a sober man among them. Despairing, therefore, 
to produce reform among so incorrigible a set, or even 
to effect any considerable diversion in our favour, when 
the author of the mischief has made all the diversion 
himself, it only remains for us to succumb with as much 
dignity as we may, and I shall only stipulate for your 
permission to deliver a parting opinion in the form of a 
toast. 

The readers of Pickwick Always certain to have their 
own way, for they are always certain to be the majority. 

The president said that as he had taken the liberty 
to allude to a distinguished member of the medical pro- 
fession, he could not incur the responsibility of neglect- 
ing Sampson Brass, Esq., "an honourable member of 
the legal profession the first profession in this country, 
sir, or in any other country, or in any of the planets that 
shine above us at night, and are supposed to be in- 
habited." And, speaking of the law, he said the peculiar 
position of his friend at the lower end of the hall (Mr. 
Loring, vice-president, who had Judge Warren on one 
side and W. H. Gardiner, Esq., on the other) brought 
to his mind another of Mr. Weller's observations. 

"Battledore and Shuttlecock's a very good game, when 
you ain't the shuttlecock, and two lawyers the battle- 
dores, in which case it gets too excitin' to be pleasant." 

Mr. Loring, for the purpose of calling up one of the 
gentlemen alluded to, gave 

Our old colony She has given us the best laws, the 
best venison, and the best judges of both. 

(We have no report of Judge Warren's remarks, except 
the following sketch.) 

Judge Warren said that he had a right to complain of 
this personal attack upon him by the president and vice- 
president, as he had good reason to believe that he 
should be permitted to enjoy this occasion in peace, and 
without being called upon to travel out of the path which 
his profession and office prescribed to him ; but the con- 



72 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

nection between law and venison was not very apparent, 
though it was true that they were both dear, and both 
the better when well digested; and it might be that this 
and other resemblances had given fraternity to those 
legal veterans John Doe and Richard Roe. 

He then adverted to the difficulties which any one 
must encounter in attempting to speak upon any subject 
here; in discoursing upon fine arts in the presence of 
Washington Allison ; upon novels and romance when 
Mr. Grattan has presumed to come among us young 
men ; upon history where Mr. Bancroft happened to be ; 
or upon any literary and scientific topic under the eye 
of the President of the University. He could therefore 
content himself with the sweeping and time-honoured 
declaration that he had made diligent preparation for a 
speech, but had been anticipated and plagiarized by 
those who had preceded him. 

He then said that while engaged in his legal studies 
the case of Bardell v. Pickwick (3 Dickens's Reports, 
245, one of the best reported cases to be found in the 
books) had not escaped his notice. He there found that 
Mr. Justice Stareleigh was described as "a most par- 
ticularly short judge," from which he inferred that 
brevity was regarded as a great excellence in judges, 
and that any great degree of length would, on this 
occasion, lead to a repetition of the pathetic inquiry of 
Mr. Weller, Senior, "Vy worn't there a alibi?" 

He concluded by offering, as he said, a toast, which 
had as much connection with what he had said as would 
be expected between an impromptu speech and a 
prepared sentiment. 

The injustice of America She denies to England the 
right to search American ships, but insists, as among 
her dearest privileges, upon her right of searching in 
British books. 

It having been suggested that the other battledore 
remained, W. H. Gardiner, Esq., arose and addressed 
the company at some length, and in an eloquent manner. 
He spoke of the relations existing between America and 
England, and denied that there was any ground to appre- 



THE BOSTON DINNER 73 

hend any rupture between the two countries. He treated 
with scorn the gasconading of silly, vile and prejudiced 
people on the borders of the neighbouring British pro- 
vinces. He said that the Peel administration had taken 
a cordial step towards an amicable termination of the 
Boundary question, and he had no doubt it would be 
met in the same spirit by the Webster administration. 
He gave as a toast 

The Anglo-Saxon race Though politically divided, 
essentially united; its union is prized above all price, 
save one, the price of honour. 

The president gave 

The patent Boz medicines They ought not to be 
administered in homoeopathic doses. 

Dr. O. W. Holmes, on being called on for a toast, 
spoke of having been anticipated in the remarks he had 
expected to offer (as a toast to the editor of the North 
American Review). 

As he saw a gentleman near him from whom he 
should like to hear, he would propose as a sentiment 

The Clergy Welcome and useful wherever honest 
men should be. It is not the steeple that makes the 
church, the pulpit that makes the sermon, nor the cloth 
that makes the preacher. 

This toast called up the Rev. Caleb Stetson, who 
addressed the company as follows 

Mr. President, when a man is called upon to speak 
and has nothing to say, it may be well that he should 
not feel himself called upon to say anything. Much 
that I would like to say has already been better said by 
others. I will not sit down, however, without express- 
ing my deep joy at seeing, face to face, one with whom 
I, in common with my fellow-citizens, have long held 
spiritual communion. 

The profession which I unworthily represent ought 
to feel a deep interest in our guest as a fellow-labourer 
in the cause of humanity. We cannot but regard him 
as a great preacher of righteousness ; for he is a preacher 
of truth, of reality. He deals not in fiction ; there is no 
sham about him. 



74 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Mr. President, some philosophers are of opinion that 
genius does not invent but discover; it penetrates the 
veil between us and the spiritual world, and becomes 
acquainted with glorious forms of beauty and life 
hitherto unknown. The poet is an inspired seer, who 
ranges over the mystic dreamland to find what exists, 
to reveal what is hidden. 

Accordingly, we find more truth in the creations of the 
man of genius than in the details of the man of fact. 
Poetry tells the truth, where history lies. Who does 
not feel that there is more living reality in those persons 
whom genius has made immortal than in the long lines 
of kings who strut in dim procession through the pages 
of history? Tell me not that Shakespeare's men and 
women are "unreal mockeries," mere fictions of his 
imagination. No, he looked quite through the world- 
shadows which surround us into the realms of invisible 
beings and found them there, immortal as his own genius. 
Is Bardolph a fiction? is Poins, is Pistol, is Dame 
Quickly a fiction ? Is not the inimitable Jack Falstaff 
as much a reality as the President of the United States ? 
Who at this moment doubts the actual existence of 
Imogen, Desdemona, Jaques, or Hamlet ? 

And our distinguished guest, who made us all love 
him as a friend before we saw his face, has he not intro- 
duced us to a whole crowd of new acquaintances, which 
are living realities as much as himself? Tell me not 
that these people are "figments of his brain." We know 
better. Why, sir, I have myself had a peep into the 
interior of "Dotheboys Hall." I know Mr. Squeers 
well. He is still at the head of a literary institution, 
and thrives, I hear, even more than his pupils. At the 
time of my acquaintance with him he was not married. 
He had no Mrs. Squeers then to aid him in promoting 
the ends of good learning by the ministration of sulphur 
and of birch. 

I was riding with a friend one day, several months 
ago, when a forlorn-looking boy, standing at the junc- 
tion of two roads, inquired which of them led to Boston. 
I pointed out the way and he turned to depart; but 



THE BOSTON DINNER 75 

something about him interested me. I said to my friend, 
" Do you see that boy ? Do you observe the multiform, 
many-coloured patches upon his garments, revealing the 
work of no ordinary hand? He is a desolate orphan, 
with none to care for him. It is, it must Be, Oliver 
Twist. He has strayed away from Mr. Bumble's 
dominions, beyond the reach of Mrs. Corney's provi- 
dence." Now I loved little Oliver with an exceeding 
affection, and I could not bear that he should wander 
alone into the unknown tumults or vast solitudes of the 
great city. Pure, elemental spirit as he was, without flesh 
enough for corruption to work in, I yet feared that he 
might fall into the hands of his persecutors, be clutched 
by old Fagin the Jew, or be entrapped and warped from 
his integrity by the Artful Dodger. I called the poor 
boy to me, and inquired into his prospects. He had no 
prospects, no parents, no friends, no home. He was 
seeking "a living." I told him if he did not find it to 
come to me. And he went his way. Four days later 
he came to my house, weary, sad, disappointed. He 
had not obtained the living. In the city he found no 
rest for the sole of his foot ; no place to lay his head but 
a stable, and out of that a cruel ostler drove him igno- 
miniously with a broom. I took him in, and went to 
procure a place for him ; while gentle hands administered 
to his urgent necessities, supplying, for the sake of Boz, 
food and raiment and means of ablution. And but it 
is a long story ; the rest need not be told. 

Mr. President, the mayor of your city has informed 
us of the arrival of Mr. Pickwick, in search of his friend 
and editor. I have reason to believe, sir, that I have 
the honour to be related to Mr. Pickwick myself. I am 
descended from English ancestors; I am, as you may 
have observed, a somewhat large man, and am said to 
bear a family resemblance to that gentleman. About 
two years ago, I was walking in a street in New Bedford, 
when a little maiden, looking out of a window and 
seeing me pass, exclaimed, with infinite delight, "O 
mother, mother, isn't that Mr. Pickwick?" 

But it is time to be serious. Our friend, whom we so 



76 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

love and honour "for his work's sake," has carried the 
torch of genius into those "dark places which are full 
of the habitations of cruelty," wretchedness and crime. 
He has himself the largest, most generous feeling of 
the brotherhood of all men, and he has taught us to feel 
a deeper sympathy with all men. What revelations has 
he made of the mysteries of guilt and remorse ! The 
agony of Sikes, fleeing from the ghastly spectre of his 
murdered victim, and still carrying the curse with him 
his bosom sin, his bosom misery is worth a hundred 
sermons. There is a reality which the heart acknow- 
ledges in all his pictures of humble, guilty and pas- 
sionate life. And we feel that here is one able and 
willing to do justice to poor fallen humanity. He has 
shown us a great heart, full of living affections, beating 
and throbbing under its veins. Our distinguished friend 
has taught us never to hate or scorn a wandering, guilty 
man, for he is our brother all human conditions, all 
human experiences, are interesting to us. We are bound 
up, for weal or woe, with the destinies and hopes of 
humanity. We are taught to discern in every man 
something that lies deeper than his folly and sin; for 
under the moral ruins lie buried the rudiments of a great 
soul buried, but not dead alive, redeemable. Melan- 
choly indeed is the wreck of an immortal man ; but more 
venerable still in his fallen grandeur than the ruins of 
an ancient temple, upon whose defaced and broken 
columns the traveller gazes with mournful admiration. 

This writer has indeed introduced us into new regions 
of most interesting reality. To use his own words, he 
has added, by some of his representations, to the stock 
of human cheerfulness by others, to the stock of human 
sympathy. 

Mr. Stetson gave the following toast 

Our guest We might be disposed to pay him distant 
homage as "a bright particular star" among the serene 
lights of the firmament, but that he interests us more as 
a friend, because he is the friend and brother of all 
men. Out of the abodes of want and sorrow and crime 
he has preached forth a living gospel of humanity. 

By Mr. Clifford, of New Bedford 



THE BOSTON DINNER 77 

The venerable Mr. Pickwick He has become to us 
this night, if never before, a great reality. 

In the course of some by-play, Mr. Grattan remarked 
that the president's four vices were equal to the four 
cardinal virtues of any other man. 

In reply to Mr. Grattan, Edw. G. Loring, Esq., 
vice-president, said : Mr. President, every man's 
"vices" speak For themselves I would speak for your 
"four vices"; your guests on either hand (Mr. Dickens 
and Mr. Grattan) make us regret that, like a most 
virtuous gentleman, you have "put your vices far from 
you"; to which Geo. S. Hillard, Esq., replied from 
the other end of the table, that that might well be, as 
they were opposite to so much that was good. 

The president read the following letter from Judge 
Story 

Washington, January 21, 1842. 

GENTLEMEN, 

It would afford me very sincere gratification to be 
able to attend the public dinner to Charles Dickens, 
Esq., according to your kind invitation. But my neces- 
sary attendance at the Supreme Court interposes an 
insuperable bar to my enjoyment of such a pleasure. 
I look upon Mr. Dickens as among the most dis- 
tinguished authors of our day, for genius, originality, 
variety of talent, and mastery of all the workings of the 
human passions. To him may be applied with singular 
truth and felicity the line of Lord Byron descriptive of 
Crabbe the poet 

" Though Nature's sternest painter, yet the best." 
I have the honour to remain, with great respect, 
Your obliged friend and servant, 

JOSEPH STORY. 

Messrs. Geo. Tyler Bigelow and others, Committee, 
etc. 

The president here observed, "We have heard of the 
good things of the Warren; we should now like to hear 
the good things of the Park." 

John C. Park, Esq., in reply to this call, said 



78 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

I regret, Mr. President, that it was not my good 
fortune to have had an opportunity to say the little I 
am desirous of saying somewhat earlier in the evening. 
There is a certain stage in a dinner party in which 
sentiment is obliged, to give place to sparkling wit, and 
each successive dish is expected to have a stronger 
seasoning of attic salt. Of such wit I profess to have 
none. But there are peculiar associations connected with 
the event of the evening, which perhaps press upon my 
mind with more force and vividness than upon the mind 
of any other person present. There have been scenes 
described by our distinguished guest which rise upon my 
recollection with startling reality; and if the company 
in the midst of their hilarity can spare me a moment, I 
will give my feelings utterance. 

I can easily understand, Mr. President, why it is that 
the heart of every person is attracted with sympathetic 
feeling towards the writings of our distinguished guest, 
as he describes with minute truth the singularities and 
peculiarities of character out of which society is formed. 
He has given to the lives of each of us a new zest. I 
walk abroad into life almost with new faculties and per- 
ceptions. I seize upon new and fresh and interesting 
traits of character in my fellow-men which I should not 
have detected or appreciated if it were not for the per- 
ceptions awakened by his magic pencil. These are the 
causes which have endeared him to all of us. 

But it has been my fate, from the peculiar circum- 
stances of my professional engagements, to see more, 
perhaps, than others present of that class of life from 
which our friend has drawn many a sad moral, and 
conjured much of his deepest interest. I mean the 
criminal the felon the convict ! Beauties of graphic 
description which others can scarcely realize are to me 
bold sketches of scenes which I have myself studied; 
and I can testify to the life-like portraits which spring 
up before my vision when I peruse those thrilling pages 
which describe such scenes as the trial and last hours of 
Fagin the Jew. I have seen the inanity of mind crushed 
by the weight of surrounding peril when, like that 



THE BOSTON DINNER 79 

felon's, it pauses in the midst of the solemn warnings of 
the judge to count the iron spike-points that surround 
his dock, and wonder if they will repair the broken one 
or let it be as it is. I can realize, as a thing of life, 
the morbid curiosity which fills up the horrid moment 
while the jury have retired, who are to decide on his 
life, by wondering if the portrait of himself which the 
man in the gallery is sketching be or be not a correct 
likeness. It is from contemplating such scenes that I 
have best learned the depth of the writer's observation, 
and been taught to look forward with ardent desire to 
the moment when I could see the man who had marked 
these startling scenes scenes which had made so deep 
an impression upon my own mind. 

Your first vice-president, sir, was proud to claim for 
England and America some exclusive property in the 
mind and genius of our highly-gifted guest, based upon 
the ground that we speak a common language. I rejoice 
as he does in this fact, for it has made his works as 
familiar to my countrymen's hands and hearts as their 
household gods. But it is in vain for us to hope for 
success in this self-appropriation. No, sir, the language 
he speaks is not the language of one nation or one 
clime. It is the language which is understood by the 
poor widow on the banks of the Ganges, who gives to 
the world and to her god the best proof of her devotion 
as she mounts the funeral pyre of her husband. It is 
felt by the Indian mother on the Western prairie as she 
covers over her little one to shield it from destruction. 
It comes in soft whisperings to the child of want and 
neglect as it rests in holy reliance upon the arm of its 
God. It requires no tongue it needs no alphabet it 
is the universal language it is the language of the 
heart ! 

But, sir, there is one other point to which I desire 
to call the attention of the company. I am aware that, 
though somewhat past the limited age which entitles 
one to mingle with the young men, I am in the midst 
of them, and possibly they cannot yet realize my feel- 
ings. Still, it is but a few years since we were all 



80 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

children. Those past years are hallowed in the very 
souls of each of us by the recollections of a mother's 
love a mother's teaching as at her knee we learned 
to lisp the first outpourings of a child's fond heart. I 
feel, then I see by your looks that I have your sym- 
pathies, and I proceed. The scenes of childhood of 
infant purity of youthful suffering of early and pre- 
mature death how they have been portrayed around all 
of us I To me personally the tie has been that of the 
nearest and dearest brotherhood. And let me say to 
you, sir (addressing Mr. Dickens), that there are now, 
within the limits of this one city, where you this day 
stand the stranger-guest, hundreds of mothers who, 
with tears of happiness and consolation, have blessed 
the man who has painted to life their own lost and loved 
one in the saint-like death of little Nell. It is in 
obedience to such a mother's wish that I now stand 
here; and though I feared that perhaps my feelings 
would ill accord with the festivities of this evening, still 
I came that I might look upon that man, and tell her if 
he realized in form the soul that breathed within. Sir, 
I rejoice that I have been here. There has, throughout 
our evening's enjoyments, flowed an undercurrent of 
deep and glowing sensibility which has encouraged 
me to give utterance to the thoughts that burn within 
me. I feel sure our guest will pardon me. And now 
let me give a sentiment, perhaps unusual at the festive 
board yet one which I feel confident will meet a ready 
response in every heart 

Little children They are flowers which bloom on 
every land and though they utter no sound, they speak 
a universal language the language of the heart. 

After some observations upon the late mildness of 
the weather, the president gave 

The fair days of this winter Our distinguished 
guest L in every clime, carries his own sunshine about 
him. 

Geo. Minns, Esq., being called upon for a sentiment, 
said : I have been much interested in the touching 
speech just delivered, especially as I know of instances 



THE BOSTON DINNER 81 

of parents under similar bereavements deriving con- 
solation from the beautiful sentiments with which the 
author concludes his account of the death of Nell. They 
are indeed "beautiful garlands concealing the sculptured 
horrors of the tomb." But, not to dwell too long upon 
a pathetic topic, especially so near the close of the even- 
ing, I wish to refer to that thrill of delight which went 
through every heart at the first announcement of Mr. 
Dickens's intended visit to this country. It was as if a 
brother, who had been long absent in a far distant land, 
had sent us news that he was about to return home. 
With such feelings we hastened to meet him upon his 
arrival. I well recollect the feeling of anxiety (so natural 
at such a moment) which possessed me just before my 
introduction to him a feeling of blended hope and fear 
of confidence that I could not be disappointed, and of 
fear lest, as too often happens, the anticipation might 
surpass the reality. Shall I find in him, I asked myself, 
all the qualities of those genial characters which he so 
finely describes, and whose delineations are treasured in 
our hearts ? When, however, I had the pleasure of 
seeing him, when I felt the clasp of his hand, cordial 
as that of my dearest friend, when I enjoyed his frank 
and hearty conversation, I felt the idleness of all doubt, 
and that he was all his delightful conceptions combined 
in one glorious whole. 

I have said that his exquisite delineations of character 
are stamped upon all our hearts. How true it is that 
the heart is the memory ! Whatever is imprinted upon 
that never dies. 

Some philosophers, historians, mathematicians, etc., 
are said to be immortal ; but they are not so in any 
true sense of the word. They are not totally forgotten, 
but they are hardly ever remembered. There is as much 
difference between that immortality which is connected 
with the mere intellect and that which is associated with 
the affections, as there is between dry and sour old age 
and that which is green with all the blooming joys of 
youth. Mr. Dickens is sure of a true immortality, 
because he has written his works upon the hearts of 
all the uneducated as well as the intellectual, the poor 
G 




82 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

as well as the rich the obscure as well as the famous 
and there they will remain for ever embalmed in pleasant 
recollections. 

Mr. President, I sympathize in all that has been said 
of Old England. I admire England for all that she 
has done for the great mind of the world. I have a 
still stronger affection for Ireland (which country has 
been so ably represented here this evening) and am as 
susceptible as a female to Irish blarney. But I love my 
own country more than all, because she values the man 
for himself alone, and pays no regard to mere adven- 
titious circumstances. The proudest nobleman in 
Europe might travel through this country, and he would, 
if unendowed with talent, receive but very little atten- 
tion, and that little from those whose good opinion 
would be worthless. But our guest will meet with a 
far different reception. I am proud of my country that 
such is the case, and I believe that nowhere are his 
works more universally appreciated than in America. 
Thousands and tens of thousands all over the land are 
at this moment looking forward with eagerness to the 
time when they may tell him how glad they are to see 
him in America. But it is not alone among those who 
may see him that appears to be almost a hopeless 
endeavour from the numbers who are crowding around 
him to express their kindly feelings but everywhere, 
in many a lowly dwelling in the city in many a farm- 
house in the country and in many a solitary log-cabin 
in the forest, miles distant from any other habitation is 
he frequently thought of with the most enthusiastic love. 
Many sumptuous entertainments and splendid balls may 
be given him ; but more than all, and infinitely above all, 
and what I am sure he will prise infinitely above all, the 
great heart of this whole people beats towards him with 
the warmest feelings of attachment. It rushes to meet 
him, not with adulation no, that it despises but with 
that right, true, hearty and manly fervour which a noble 
mind like his richly deserves, and which a noble mind 
like his delights to reciprocate. The whole people will 
unite as one man to do honour to that creative and 



THE BOSTON DINNER 83 

benevolent genius which brightens winter nights and 
shortens summer days which strikes the stoniest heart 
and melts it to water which is the fire upon our hearth- 
stone, making home cheerful ; and in some faint measure 
to express this feeling which America has to every true 
man, I will propose as a sentiment 

America welcomes to her shores every man whose eye 
is single and whose heart is true. 

The president here announced that he had received 
the following letters from gentlemen who had not been 
able to attend the dinner 



Portland^ January 22, 1842. 

GENTLEMEN, 

My engagements are of such a nature that I dare 
not promise to be with you, much as I desire it ; and my 
respect for the occasion, for the committee, and for Mr. 
Dickens, myself, oblige me to decline your very ob- 
liging invitation. At such a board there must be no 
empty chairs. 

Please accept my thanks, gentlemen, and my best 
wishes for your happiness severally, and for that of 
your guest, the reformer, not only of the particular 
occasion you have in view, but for the rest of your 
lives. Were I with you, I should offer a toast to Old 
England, as the mother of New England, or as the 
grandmother of nations New England being the 
mother of nations, at least in the new world, and she 
the mother of New England. I should thank her for 
sending forth her herald of reformation in literature, as 
hitherto in science, and politics and religion ; and your 
guest for picturing the old English humours, in all 
their heartiness, faithfulness and simplicity, and better 
still, in the old English tongue. 

Respectfully, gentlemen, I am, etc., 

JOHN NEAL. 

Messrs. Geo. Tyler Bigelow, and others, Committee. 

G 2 



84 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Boston, January 21, 1842. 

GENTLEMEN, 

I respectfully offer you my grateful acknowledg- 
ments of your flattering invitation to the proposed 
dinner to Mr. Dickens. 

I should be proud and gratified to join you in this 
honourable duty honourable alike to yourselves and 
your distinguished guest but untoward circumstances 
of a personal character oblige me, very reluctantly, to 
relinquish the pleasure of uniting with you. 

Let me repeat my sincere acknowledgments to you 
for your politeness, and believe me to be, 

Gentlemen, your grateful servant, 

CHAS. SPRAGUE. 

Messrs. Bigelow, Hale, Barrett, Crocker 
and Story, Committee. 

Glenmary, January 25, 1842. 

DEAR SIR, 

Very much to my regret, I am compelled to 
decline the kind invitation to the Committee of Arrange- 
ments to meet Mr. Dickens at dinner. Imperative 
engagements keep me at home, where, indeed, I hope 
Mr. Dickens will find me, as I have already written to 
beg for that pleasure and honour. 

I may be permitted, even at this distance, however, 
to join my fellow-townsmen in proffering the warmest 
welcome to Mr. Dickens, and to express the lively 
interest I feel in their promised enjoyment of his visit. 
It would be a great pleasure to millions this side the 
water to look on his face, but nowhere will he be met 
with greater, and at the same time more appreciative 
and discriminating, enthusiasm than in Boston. I con- 
gratulate both him and my townspeople on his com- 
mencing there the endless harvest of his American 
laurels. 

Enviable as Mr. Dickens's reputation is for its extent, 
it is much more enviable for its quality. He has 
advanced, pari passu, in the admiration and affection 
of the world, and his "progress" through our country 






THE BOSTON DINNER 85 

will be as much waited on by loving hearts as by 
admiring heads. I have startled myself too, with asking 
what class or description of persons will be foremost 
to welcome him. He is the favourite author of the old, 
but he is as much the favourite of the young. He is 
adored by the poor and humble, but his praise is with- 
out stint from the intelligent and critical. Those who 
love to weep over a story, and those who prefer to laugh 
those who seek amusement only from an author, and 
those who exact of him an influence for good young 
and old, merry and sad, wise and simple, rich and poor 
all love him all know him all would go far out of 
their way to see and welcome him. His fame is 
strangely universal enviably, most enviably, warm and 
genial. 

I could have wished that Mr. Dickens had first 
travelled incognito in this country. It will be difficult 
to express to him viva voce how his genius is felt 
among us. More than any living author, his laurels 
brighten when his face is turned from them. If prodigal- 
ity and sincerity in our praises can gratify him, however, 
he will not lack gratification. 

Renewing my regrets that I cannot be present at 
your kind invitation, and with many thanks to the com- 
mittee for the honour they have done me, permit me to 
subjoin a sentiment and subscribe myself. 

Yours very truly, 

N. P. WILLIS. 

W. W. Story, Esq. 

Master Humphrey's Clock Wound up to run with 
the stars. It will keep Time (or Time will keep it) till 
the world run down. 

New York, January 31, 1842. 

GENTLEMEN, 

I greatly regret that I cannot be with you to-day, 
as I had anticipated, to join you in doing honour to one 
of the greatest genuises of this age ; but finding myself 
unexpectedly in a business maelstrom, made up of little 
currents of avocation which have provokingly converged 



86 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

upon me at this moment, I am compelled to forgo the 
high enjoyment I had promised myself. 

If distant "sentiments," however, are admissible, I 
will ask you to oblige me by offering the following. I 
hope it will not be considered as going out of the way ; 
and if it should be, I can only interpose the excuse, that 
if the subject (who has never, as I learn, during a long 
life [I wish I hadn't said that] been twenty miles 
from his beloved city) would ever come away from home 
to be toasted, there should be no occasion to send so 
far to honour him on his own ground. I give you, 
Mr. Chairman 

The Health of Charles Sprague, our Poet of the 
Heart, who amid the cares and turmoil of active life, 
keeps his holier affections and better thoughts "unspotted 
from the world." 

Wishing you, what you must have a delightful 
"night of it." 

I am, your obliged, 

L. GAYLORD CLARK. 



To the Committee of the Dinner to Mr. Charles 
Dickens. 

The president said he had received the following 
volunteer sentiment 

Dickens A great name it has not been used for 
centuries, without having the article before it. 

It now being near one o'clock, the president 
announced his intention of leaving the chair, and gave 
as a parting sentiment 

A speedy return to Charles Dickens. 

He then withdrew with Mr. Dickens and other guests, 
leaving Mr. Stevenson in the chair, and after a few 
songs and volunteer sentiments the company broke up, 
perfectly delighted with their guest and their entertain- 
ment. 

Jas. T. Fields, in Yesterdays with Authors, writing 
in 1871 of this dinner, says 



THE BOSTON DINNER 87 

"It is idle to attempt much talk about the banquet 
given on that night in February, twenty-nine years ago. 
It was a glorious episode in all our lives, and whoever 
was not there has suffered a loss not easy to estimate. 
We younger members of the dinner-party sat in the 
seventh heaven of happiness and were translated to 
other spheres. Was there ever such a night before in 
our staid city? Did ever mortal preside with such 
felicitous success as did Mr. Quincy ? And how admir- 
ably he closed his speech of welcome, calling upon the 
young author amid a perfect volley of applause ! 
Health ! Happiness ! and a hearty Welcome to Charles 
Dickens ! And when Dickens stood up at last to answer 
for himself, so fresh and so handsome with his beautiful 
eyes moist with feeling and his whole frame aglow with 
excitement, how we did hurrah, we young fellows. 
Trust me it was a great night, and we must have made 
a great noise at our end of the table, for I remember 
frequent messages came down to us from the ' Chair * 
begging that we hold up a little and moderate if possible 
the rapture of our applause." 



CHAPTER IV 

WORCESTER HARTFORD NEW HAVEN 

DICKENS left Boston on Saturday, February 5, for 
Worcester, which he described as "a pretty New Eng- 
land town, where we had arranged to remain under the 
hospitable roof of the Governor of the State, until 
Monday morning." 

Two of the Worcester papers contained very brief 
notices of his visit to the town, which are here given 

"Boz, the author of Pickwick, etc., with his lady, 
came up from Boston on Saturday the 5th, in the cars, 
with Governor Davis, and passed the Sabbath with 
him. The Governor introduced his general friends to 
his guest, Saturday evening, and his particular friends 
on Sunday evening. Boz left town on Monday morn- 
ing on the cars for Springfield." Worcester Palladin, 
February 9, 1842. 

"Charles Dickens (Boz), the celebrated author, with 
his lady arrived in town on the evening of the 5th, and 
left for Hartford via Springfield on the morning of 
the yth. While here, many of our inhabitants called 
upon them at the mansion of Governor Davis, where 
they stayed during their tarry in town." The Massa- 
chusetts Spy, February 9, 1842. 

It will be noticed that not only these two, but prac- 
tically all the American papers, when mentioning Mr. 
Dickens, says, "Charles Dickens and 'lady,'" some 
spelling it with a capital L and others with a small one, 
and they generally mention that he arrived "in the 
cars." 







J. DAVIS 
Governor of .Massachusetts, 1842 

88 



WORCESTER HARTFORD NEW HAVEN 89 

The editor of the Worcester Egis evidently believed 
that the arrival of the great Boz was an event entitled 
to more extended notice than the mere mention of his 
arrival in town, and that his readers wanted to know 
something of the author's personality, attire and mental 
characteristics. He saw Boz at the Governor's mansion, 
but whether as one of the Governor's general or par- 
ticular friends the editor does not say, and the result 
was the following brilliant effusion, which was copied 
in several of the papers of other cities. 

"We found a middle-sized person in a brown frock 
coat, a red figured vest, somewhat of the flash order, 
and a fancy scarf cravat, that concealed the collar and 
was fastened to the bosom in rather voluptuous folds 
by a double pin and chain. His proportions were well- 
sounded, and filled the dress suit he wore. His hair, 
which was long and dark, grew low upon the brow, had 
a wavy kink where it started from the head, and was 
naturally, or artificially, corkscrew, as it fell on either 
side of his face. His forehead retreated gradually from 
the eyes, without any marked protuberance save at the 
outer angle, the upper portion of which formed a pro- 
minent ridge, a little within the assigned position of 
the organ of ideality. The skin on that portion of the 
brow which was not concealed by the hair instead of 
being light and smooth, flushed as readily as any part 
of the face, and partook of its general character and 
flexibility. The whole region about the eyes was pro- 
minent with a noticeable development of nerves and 
vessels indicating, say the phrenologists, great vigour 
in the intellectual organs with which they are connected. 
The eyeballs completely filled their sockets. The aper- 
ture of the lids was not large, nor the eye uncommonly 
clear or bright, but quick, moist and expressive. The 
nose was slightly aquiline, the mouth of moderate 
dimensions, making no great display of the teeth, the 
facial muscles occasionally drawing the upper lip most 
strongly on the left side, as the mouth opened in speak- 
ing. His features, taken together, were well propor- 
tioned, of a glowing and cordial aspect, with more 



90 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

animation than grace, and more intelligence than 
beauty. 

"We will close this off-hand description without going 
more minutely into the anatomy of Mr. Dickens, by 
saying that he wears a gold watchguard over his vest, 
and a shaggy greatcoat of bear or buffalo skin that 
would excite the admiration of a Kentucky huntsman. 
In short, you frequently meet with similar-looking 
young men at the theatres and other public places, and 
you would infer that he found his enjoyments in the 
scenes of actual life, rather than in the retirement of a 
study, and that he would be likely to be about town, 
and witness those scenes which he describes with such 
unrivalled precision and power. We believe that it is 
well understood that he draws his characters and inci- 
dents less from imagination than from memory depend- 
ing for its resources less upon reflection and study 
than upon observation. His writing bears slight evi- 
dence of reading, and he seldom if ever quotes from 
books. His wonderful perceptions, his acute sensibility, 
and his graphic fancy, furnish the means by which his 
fame has been created. 

"Mr. Dickens was born February 7, 1812. He was 
therefore thirty years of age on Monday last. The 
early maturity of his genius and reputation has but few 
parallels. May he long live to edify and amuse the 
world, and to receive the reward of praise and emolu- 
ment which is his just due." 

Dickens left Worcester on Monday evening and has 
told us in American Notes how he went by railroad to 
Springfield, and, without stopping again in that city, 
embarked in a very small steamboat for a twenty-five 
mile ride down the Connecticut River for Hartford, 
where he arrived in the afternoon. He spent four days 
in the town, during which he visited the State House, 
Insane Asylum, and the Deaf and Dumb Asylum. The 
Hartford newspapers did not have anything to say about 
his visits to these institutions, in fact about the only thing 
they did print was a very brief account of the dinner 
given to him at the City Hotel. The following account of 







GOVERNOR DAVIS S HOUSE, WORCESTER, MASS. 




ROOM IN GOVERNOR DAVIS S HOUSE IN WHICH DICKENS 
SLEPT, 1842 

90 



WORCESTER HARTFORD NEW HAVEN 91 

the dinner is reprinted from the New Haven Commercial 
Herald, with the exception of Dickens's speech, which 
is copied from the New York Tribune. 

"Bos at Hartford A gentleman from Hartford has 
favoured us with the following account of the proceed- 
ings at the entertainment given to Mr. Dickens on 
Tuesday evening last 

"About seventy persons were at the dinner. William 
J. Hammersly, Esq., presided, and made a very good 
speech by way of preface to the toast drank in honour 
of the distinguished guest. Mr. Dickens made an 
excellent speech 

" ' Gentlemen, to say that I thank you for the earnest 
manner in which you have drunk the toast just now so 
eloquently proposed to you to say that I give you back 
your kind wishes and good feelings with more than 
compound interest and that I feel how dumb and power- 
less the best acknowledgments would be beside such 
genial hospitality as yours is nothing. To say that in 
this winter season flowers have sprung up in every foot- 
step's length of the path which has brought me here 
that no country has ever smiled more pleasantly than 
yours has smiled on me and that I have rarely looked 
on a brighter summer prospect than that which lies 
before me now is nothing. (Applause.) 

"' But it is something to be no stranger in a strange 
place to feel, sitting at a board for the first time, the 
ease and affection of an old guest, and to be at once on 
such intimate terms with the family as to have a homely, 
genial interest in its every member it is, I say, some- 
thing to be in this novel and happy frame of mind and 
as it is of your creation and owes its being to you, I 
have no reluctance in urging it as a reason why, in 
addressing you, I should not so much consult the form 
and fashion of my speech, as I should employ that 
universal language of the heart which you, and such as 
you, best teach and best can understand. Gentlemen, in 
that universal language common to you in America and 
to us in England, as that younger mother tongue, which, 




92 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

by the means and through the happy union of our two 
great countries, shall be spoken ages hence by land and 
sea over the wide surface of the globe I thank you. 

"' I had occasion, gentlemen, to say the other night 
in Boston, as I have more than once had occasion to 
remark before, that it is not easy for an author to speak 
of his own books. If the task be a difficult one at any 
time, its difficulty certainly is not diminished when a 
frequent recurrence to the same thing has left one 
nothing new to say. Still, I feel that in a company like 
this, and especially after what has been said by the 
president, that I ought not to pass lightly over those 
labours of love, which, if they had no other merit, have 
been the happy means of bringing us together. 

" ' It has been often observed that you cannot judge of 
an author's personal character from his writings ; it may 
be that you cannot I think it very likely for many 
reasons that you cannot but at least the reader will rise 
from the perusal of a book with some defined and 
tangible idea of the writer's moral creed and broad pur- 
poses, if he has any at all ; and it is probable enough 
that he may like to have this idea confirmed from the 
author's lips, or dissipated by his explanation. Gentle- 
men, my moral creed which is a very wide and com- 
prehensive one, and includes all sects and parties is 
very easily summed up. I have faith, and I wish to 
diffuse faith in the existence yes, of beautiful things, 
even in those conditions of society which are so degen- 
erate, so degraded and forlorn, that at first sight it would 
seem as though it could not be described but by a strange 
and terrible reversal of the words of Scripture God said 
let there be light, and there was none. I take it that we 
are born, and that we hold our sympathies, hopes and 
energies in trust for the Many and not the Few. That 
we cannot hold in too strong a light of disgust and con- 
tempt, that before the view of others, all meanness, false- 
hood, cruelty and oppression of every grade and kind. 
Above all, that nothing is high because it is in a high 
place; and that nothing is low because it is in a low 
one. (Loud applause.) This is the lesson taught us in 
the great Book of Nature. This is the lesson which may 



WORCESTER HARTFORD NEW HAVEN 93 

be read alike in the bright track of the stars, and in the 
dusty course of the poorest thing that drags its tiny 
length upon the ground. This is the lesson ever upper- 
most in the thoughts of that inspired man who tells us 
that there are 

" Tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, 
Sermons in stones, and good in everything." 

" ' Gentlemen, keeping these objects steadily before 
me, I am at no loss to refer your favour and your 
generous hospitality back to the right source. While I 
know, on the one hand, that if, instead of being what 
it is, this were a land of tyranny and wrong, I should 
care very little for your smiles or your frowns, so I 
am sure upon the other that if, instead of being what I 
am, I were the greatest genius that ever trod the earth, 
and had diverted myself for the oppression and degrada- 
tion of mankind, you would despise and reject me. I 
hope you will whenever through such means I give you 
the opportunity. Trust me that whenever you give me 
the like occasion I will return the compliment with 
interest. 

" ' Gentlemen, as I have no secrets from you, in the 
spirit of confidence you have engendered between us, 
and as I have made a kind of compact with myself that 
I never will while I remain in America omit an oppor- 
tunity of referring to a topic in which I and all others 
of my class on both sides of the great water are equally 
interested equally interested there is no difference 
between us I would beg leave to whisper in your ear 
two words International Copyright. I use them in no 
sordid sense, believe me ; and those who know me best 
know that. For myself, I would rather that my children 
coming after me trudged in the mud and knew by the 
general feeling of society that their father was beloved 
and was of some use, than I would have them ride in 
their carriages and know by their bankers' books that he 
was rich. But I do not see, I confess, why one should 
be obliged to take the choice, or why fame, besides play- 
ing that delightful revel for which he is so justly cele- 
brated, should not blow out of the trumpet a few notes 



94 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

of a different kind from those with which she has hitherto 
contented herself. 

" ' It was well observed the other night by a beautiful 
speaker whose words went to the heart of every man who 
heard him, that if there had existed any law in this 
respect, Scott might not have sunk beneath the mighty 
pressure on his brain, but might have lived to add new 
creatures to his fancy to the crowd which swarms about 
you in your summer walks, and gathers round your 
winter evening hearths. 

" ' As I listened to his words there came back fresh 
upon me that touching scene in the great man's life, 
when he lay upon the couch surrounded by his family, 
and listened for the last time to the rippling of the river 
he had so loved over its stony bed. I pictured him to 
myself, faint, wan, dying, crushed both in mind and 
body by his honourable struggle; and hovering around 
him the phantoms of his own imagination Waverley, 
Ravenswood, Jeanie Deans, Rob Roy, Caleb Balder- 
stone, Dominie Sampson all the familiar throng, with 
Cavaliers, and Puritans, and Highland Chiefs innumer- 
able overflowing the chamber, and fading away in the 
dim distance beyond. I picture them fresh in traversing 
the world, and hanging down their heads in shame and 
sorrow, that from all those lands into which they have 
carried gladness, instruction and delight for millions, 
they brought him not one friendly hand to help, 
to raise him from that sad, sad bed. No, nor brought 
him from that land in which his own language was 
spoken, and in every house and hut at which his own 
books were read in his own tongue, one grateful dollar- 
piece to buy a garland for his grave. Oh ! if every man 
who goes from here, as many do, to look upon that tomb 
in Dryburgh Abbey, would but remember this and bring 
the recollection home. 

"' Gentlemen, I thank you again, and once again, and 
many times to that. You have given me a new reason 
for remembering this day, which is already one of mark 
in my calendar, it being my birthday, and you have 
given those who are nearest and dearest to me a new 
reason for recollecting it with pride and interest. Heaven 



WORCESTER HARTFORD -NEW HAVEN 95 

knows that, though should I grow ever so grey, I shall 
need nothing to remind me of this speech in my life. 
But I am glad to think that from this time you are 
inseparately connected with every recurrence of this day ; 
and that on its periodical returns I shall always in 
imagination have the unfading pleasure of entertaining 
you as my guests in return for the gratification you have 
afforded me to-night.' 

"Several eloquent speeches were made and sentiments 
given by Governor Ellsworth, John M. Miles, Dr. Brig- 
ham, Prof. Stewart, Messrs. Barnard, Dixon, Putnam, 
Curtis (of Millingford), Green, etc. Bishop Brownell 
was present, and invoked the blessing before dinner ; 
letters were read from Washington Irving, George 
Bancroft, etc. 

"Mrs. Dickens stood in the hall with several other 
ladies, listening to the speeches. Her name was given 
and received with great applause. She is a fine-looking 
lady, and makes herself very agreeable to those who call 
upon her. She must have been amused at Mr. Miles's 
speech to Democratic literature. He commenced with 
the angels, approximated to the patriarchs, floundered 
through Republican resolutions, and ended in ' pop'lar 
literature,' which he said could not be ' monopolated ' 
by any aristocracy. One of the guests, about the middle 
of his speech, moved the previous question, which was 
not seconded, and so the Judge was permitted to proceed. 
He was rather witty at times. He said that if there was 
not a lion in his way there was one right before him. 
The audience could hardly tell whether he referred to 
Mr. Dickens or Governor Ellsworth, who sat together on 
the right of the chair. The Judge and the Bishop were 
on the left. 

" Mr. Putnam in his toast referred to ' Grip ' the raven, 
a favourite bird with the children of Mr. Dickens, who 
are in London. The first three, I believe, are girls, and 
the fourth a young ' Boz.' Likenesses of these four 
youngsters were shown to the company at the table. 

"Mr. Dixon read the following complimentary lines to 
Mr. Dickens on his arrival in Hartford, written by Mrs. 
Sigourney 



96 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Welcome ! o'er the ocean blue, 

Welcome to the youthful West, 
Ardent hearts and spirits true 

Greet thee as a favour'd guest. 

Well our Motherhood hath taught us 

How to honour those, whose skill 
From the realms of genius brought us 

Various treasures, at their will, 
And her children would not be 
False to her or cold to thee. 

And that Motherhood hath shown us, 

How the stranger's heart to cheer ; 
By her hearth-stone she hath placed us, 

There to learn her lessons dear ; 
Of such fair example we 
Would not now forgetful be. 

On our lips her accents linger, 

In our views her blood doth run, 
And a heaven-born faith inspireth, 

Child and parent, both as one ; 
So we breathe, with spirit free, 
Love to her and love to thee. 

"Several songs were sung, which were well received, 
amongst which was the following, written for the 
occasion by Mr. Hammersly 

I'll sing you a new-made song, but from no aged pate, 

Of a fine young English gentleman, whose mind is his estate, 

And who always keeps it furnished at a bountiful old rate 

With sad and sweet, and merry tales, which in books he doth relate, 

Like a fine young English gentleman, a type of better times. 

His heart so true, the dwelling is, of all that's rich and rare, 
The mansion of the beautiful, the noble and the fair ; 
No guest so poor, he cannot find a hearty welcome there, 
While kindness sits with melting eyes within the old arm-chair : 
God bless this fine young gentleman, this type of better times. 

He comes across the ocean waste, to see our western land, 

Where many a welcome grasp he'll meet, from many a friendly 

hand, 

And many a voice will cry to him, " Oh, still maintain your stand, 
And on hypocrisy and vice still stamp the burning brand," 
Like a fine young English gentleman, a type of better times. 




VIEW ON THE CONNECTICUT RIVER, 1839 




HARTFORD, COXX. 
9 6 



WORCESTER HARTFORD NEW HAVEN 97 

God speed him on his earthly course, and blessings on him pour, 
Grant to him rich and bounteous gifts, from Heaven's exhaustless 

store ; 

Make him as life the longer lasts, but love mankind the more. 
And may he in a green old age, still flourish at fourscore, 
Like a fine old English gentleman, a blessing to his times. 

"The dinner did great credit to Mr. Judson, of the 
City Hotel ; over seventy different dishes were mentioned 
on the bill of fare. Mr. Dickens is much pleased with 
Hartford. He dined last evening with Col. Grant and 
received calls this afternoon. Mrs. Sigourney and several 
distinguished persons called upon him this afternoon. 

"Mr. Dickens is thirty years of age, and appears much 
younger. He seems to enjoy himself very much at a 
dinner party, and tries to make all around him feel 
happy. In conversation yesterday, referring to Marryatt, 
Hall, etc., he said that this country had been shamefully 
treated. Governor Ellsworth at the dinner expressed a 
hope that he would examine our institutions and give a 
fair report upon them. He welcomed Mr. Dickens with 
much spirit and good-will." 

Mr. Henry C. Robinson, of Hartford, one of the lead- 
ing lawyers of New England, who died some years ago, 
used to relate the following incident in connection with 
Dickens's visit to Hartford 

" I am sure that at no other time did Dickens speak to 
any American boy as he spoke to me. What he said 
was not so much, but it was Charles Dickens who said it, 
and he said it to me, and that was enough. 

" I was then between eleven and twelve years of age 
when Dickens came to Hartford in 1842. 

"We knew in Hartford the hour at which Dickens 
would arrive, and there was a great throng at the steam- 
boat landing waiting to see him. I was not able to be 
there, for I was at school at the time he arrived. But I 
heard that he was staying at the City Hotel, which at 
that time was the leading hotel of the city, and located 
only three or four minutes' walk from the old State 
H 



98 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

House. So as soon as I was out of school I went to the 
hotel, determined to stand in front of it until I had 
caught a glimpse of Charles Dickens. 

"I think I must have stood there about an hour it 
may have been a little longer when, looking up at one 
of the windows opening upon the room at the side of the 
main entrance to the hotel, I saw Charles Dickens stand- 
ing there. I knew him instantly from the photographs 
I had seen of him. I was attracted by his peculiar waist- 
coat of very vivid colour, from the pockets of which 
dangled a very prodigious watch-chain. He alternately 
tossed the chain in his hands and twisted it around his 
fingers. I also noticed his eyes, because they were very 
blue. After a while he put his hands in his pockets and 
stood looking across the street, not noticing me at first. 
At last his eyes became fixed on me. He looked at me 
steadily for I do not know how many minutes. I stared 
at him steadily in return. I remember that I thought: 
This is the man who told me about Sam Weller, who 
was one of the great favourites of my boyhood days. 

" I wonder what Dickens thought of me ! He certainly 
looked me through and through. We must have been, 
in fact, a spectacle, the lad and the famous author staring 
at each other. 

"At last Dickens spoke, and the words have been 
treasured in my memory ever since. This is what he said, 
and I heard him distinctly, though he spoke through the 
window : ' Go away, little boy, go away.' Then he 
waved his hand gently, smiled upon me, and with that 
benediction I departed. 

"I did not see him again until 1867, when he made his 
second visit to America. He had changed greatly in 
physical appearance, excepting that his eyes retained 
that brilliant blue tint, the bluest eyes I ever saw." 

He left Hartford at 5 p.m., Thursday, February n, by 
rail for New Haven, where he arrived at 8 p.m., and went 
to the Tontine Hotel, where he remained that night. 
The New Haven Commercial Herald on the previous 
Monday contained the following 






WORCESTER HARTFORD NEW HAVEN 99 

"Boz in Transit The Hartford Committee are to 
meet the Dickenses at Springfield, from whence he is to 
be escorted to that City, where a dinner is to take place 
on Wednesday. Hope the Hartford folk will allow him 
to pass this way, that the New Haven colony may, at 
least, have the honour of his footstep. He may tread 
on classic ground, and amid the pure atmosphere of the 
sons of light, recover enough of his natural force and 
elasticity to enable him to bear the fumes and ' nauseous 
slaves ' of the great emporium. We hope our folks will 
treat him like a gentleman, and not like a show." 

A correspondent of the Herald was afraid if Dickens 
came to New Haven that he might not be given a fitting 
reception, and therefore wrote a communication to that 
paper suggesting that he be given a public reception "to 
secure that pleasure which thousands of our citizens 
anxiously covet," in other words to give them a chance 
to get a look at him. 

The following is Suum Quique's communication 

"Messrs. Editors : No slight gratification followed the 
announcement in the closing chapter of Barnaby Rudge 
that the author of Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby 
had determined to pay a visit to this country. Many 
hailed with joy that determination, and anxiously antici- 
pated much pleasure, in gazing upon the form and 
features of him who had contributed so bountifully to 
the land of mirth. Charles Dickens, we are assured, has 
landed in Boston, and is now enjoying the courtesies 
and hospitalities which the inhabitants of that city never 
fail to extend to the high-minded and deserving. And 
while the literary men are straining every nerve to render 
his sojourn pleasant in this country, why should the 
literati and citizens of this ' City of Elms * withhold their 
tribute, and omit paying that respect and deference 
which genius of the most exalted kind never solicits but 
always deserves ? Mr. Dickens comes not among us to 
spy out the nakedness of the land, but to visit the 
brethren whom he can learn to love, and with whom his 
H a 



large heart cannot fail to sympathize. Why, then, can 
we not receive him with that welcome which is so mani- 
festly his due ? Surely within the halls of this old 
nursery of learning, and among those connected with the 
medical and legal departments, there ought to be rever- 
ence enough for him who has made such vigorous war- 
fare upon our risible faculties, to seek out devices by 
which he be assured of the respect and honour enter- 
tained towards him by the majority of Americans. Will 
they, then, omit to make arrangements to give him a 
public reception, and be behindhand in welcoming true 
genius to our land ? 

"These hints are thrown out by the writer in hopes 
that the suggestion may not pass by unregarded, but that 
measure may be seasonably taken to secure that pleasure 
which thousands of our citizens anxiously covet." 

A search of the files of the Commercial Herald fails 
to discover any account of his arrival and brief stay in 
the city, other than the following 

"Mr. Charles Dickens and lady arrived here last even- 
ing in the cars from Hartford, and departed this morn- 
ing in a steamboat for New York. There was a great 
curiosity to see one so well known through another 
medium and the rush to the Tontine for that purpose 
was a complete mele'e, without order and very little con- 
straint. We hope that we shall have the pleasure of 
seeing Mr. Dickens here again, when the fever is abated, 
and when he will have an opportunity to see as well as 
be seen. He was waited upon by some of our profes- 
sional gentlemen and others, who tendered him those 
public and private attentions which time did not enable 
him to enjoy." 

Mr. Putnam, in the Atlantic Monthly articles pre- 
viously referred to, gives the following account of a 
reception which was forced upon Mr. Dickens, on the 
evening after his arrival at the Tontine, and the attention 
paid him he very probably did not enjoy 






WORCESTER HARTFORD NEW HAVEN 101 

"From Hartford Mr. Dickens went to New Haven, 
arriving there in the evening. The news spread rapidly 
that ' Dickens had come,' and at once the throng of 
visitors poured in. Before he had been there an hour 
the hotel was crowded and the street outside filled with 
people. Citizens of the highest distinction hastened 
with their friends to pay their respects, for it was under- 
stood that his stay in the city would be very short. The 
Yale students were there in force, and such was the 
desire to see him that he was urgently requested to 
receive the throng assembled, and for hours the people 
filled the reception-room and held the halls and passages 
of the hotel. As the crowd increased the landlord found 
it necessary to put two stout porters on the main stair- 
case, who locked their hands across the stairs, and kept 
the throng somewhat at bay. As fast as those in the 
reception-room had their introduction, and retired by 
another way, the two porters on the stairs would raise 
their arms and suffer another instalment of the crowd 
to pass; and thus, until nearly eleven o'clock at night, 
the admirers of ' Boz ' pressed around him for a look 
and an introduction, and all this was evidently from a 
love and appreciation of the man. It was nearly mid- 
night before Mr. Dickens could retire to his room." 

After Dickens's departure for New York, which took 
place on Saturday evening, there appeared the following 
items, the first in the Palladium and the second in the 
Commercial Herald 

"Mr. Dickens, accompanied by his lady, arrived in 
the cars last evening and took lodgings at the Tontine. 
He left in the boat for New York this morning. A large 
number of our citizens paid their respects to him at his 
lodgings, and much interest was manifested by all classes 
to obtain a sight of, or an introduction to, the distin- 
guished stranger. He has been the principal subject of 
conversation for the last few days, and as much so, 
perhaps, by those who know nothing of his reputation 
as an author, as by those to whom his works had become 



102 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

as familiar as household words. We have an anecdote 
in illustration. ' Fagin,' who was anxiously inquiring in 
regard to his arrival, and the length of time he would 
spend in the city, among other questions very earnestly 
and innocently asked if ' Boz ' and ' Dickens ' would 
both be here at the same time." 

"The Dickens has come and gone; he stole in, in the 
darkness of the night, and stole out, in the fog of the 
mountain. But, what with the halloing of the boys at 
Mr. J.'s lecture, the cry of fire, the ringing of bells, and 
the light of the conflagration, we got up about as pretty 
a piece of glorification, all for Boz, as the poor man will 
meet with anywhere in the United States. The sun came 
out of the fog about 10 o'clock and behold ! the Glory 
had departed." 

There was one citizen of New Haven who seemed to 
have an idea that the American people were overdoing 
it in the manner in which they received Mr. Dickens, 
and having this idea in his mind, thought that he should 
let his fellow-citizens know that such adulation as was 
shown the author was not befitting good American 
citizens, and therefore proceeding to ease his mind, he 
wrote the following communication to the Commercial 
Herald 

" Messrs. Editors : Have you seen the celebrated Mr. 
Dickens? Well, what do you think of him? In what 
order of beings do you rank him ? Is he human ? If 
so, qui tanti talem genuere parentes? Is he not rather 
one of those mystic beings whom the Learned Black- 
smith would denominate a mythological demi-god? 
The adulation paid him reminds us of European 
servility, ill-befitting Americans much less the descend- 
ants of the Puritans, who never bowed the knee to any 
earthly potentate or kissed the toe of any dignitary. 
Either Mr. Dickens must be a man of sense, or he must 
not. If he is, he must look upon the Yankees as a set 
of silly parasites; if he is not, their folly is the more 
palpable and disgraceful. 




CITY HOTEL, HARTFORD 




NEW HAVEN, FROM PERRY HILL 



WORCESTER HARTFORD NEW HAVEN 103 

"Query : Would it not be well for some shrewd enter- 
prising Yankee to procure Boz, put him in a cage, and 
take him about the country for a show? I mean nothing 
disrespectful to Mr. Dickens. I regard him as a man 
of no ordinary abilities ; a benefactor of the race, if you 
please. Proper respect and deference should be paid 
him, but this servile homage, this sickening flattery, is 
doubtless as contemptible in his eyes as it is derogatory 
to us." 



CHAPTER V 

NEW YORK 

MR. AND MRS. DICKENS arrived in New York Sunday 
morning, February 13, and went to the Carlton Hotel 
on Broadway, where they remained until they left for 
Philadelphia on Sunday, March 6, a week later than was 
their intention, as their departure was delayed by reason 
of the illness of Mrs. Dickens. 

Most of Dickens's time was spent in visiting the public 
institutions, such as the Tombs prison, the Penitentiary, 
Alms House and Lunatic Asylum, the last three being 
on BlackwelPs Island, and not Long Island, where 
Dickens locates them in American Notes. He was 
entertained privately by some of the leading people of 
the city, but the principal events of his stay were the 
"Boz Ball" and the "Dickens Dinner," the former 
taking place at the Park Theatre the day after his 
arrival, and the latter at the City Hotel on Friday of 
the same week. With the exception of very full accounts 
of these two events, the newspapers did not pay a great 
deal of attention to the doings of Dickens during the 
three weeks he remained. 

Mr. Philip Hone, a prominent banker and ex-mayor 
of New York, in an entry in his diary dated January 24, 
says regarding Dickens's arrival in Boston 

"I signed, three or four days ago, with a number of 
other persons, a letter to be presented to him on his 
arrival in the city, giving him a hearty welcome and 
inviting him to a public dinner, which, from the spirit 
which seems to prevail on the subject, will be no common 
affair." 

There also appears the two following entries in the 
diary, referring to the dinner, and also to the ball 

104 



NEW YORK 105 

"January 27. In addition to the dinner which it is 
intended to give Mr. Dickens on his arrival in New 
York, a grand ball is to be gotten up for him and his 
lady, at the Park (Theatre), where it is proposed to have 
tableaux vivant and other devices illustrating some of 
the prominent scenes in his admirable stories. For this 
object a meeting was held last evening at the Astor 
House, which was attended by fifty or sixty respectable 
gentlemen. 

"The Mayor presided, and a letter, of which I am 
selected to be the author, was agreed upon, signed by 
all present, and entrusted to David C. Golden, to be 
delivered by him in person to Mr. Dickens, in Boston, 
inviting him to the fete and requesting him to name 
the day on which it shall take place. This is all well, 
but there is danger of overdoing the matter, and making 
our well-meant hospitalities oppressive to the recipient. 
We are a people of impulse ; when we get fairly mounted 
upon the back of a lion, we are all apt to drive him with 
might and mane, until the ' royal beast ' is fain to 
escape from the menagerie." 

At this meeting, the following resolutions were 
unanimously adopted 

"Resolved: That in the opinion of this meeting, it is 
proper and becoming in the citizens of New York to 
unite heartily in these demonstrations of respect and 
esteem which have been, and will be, everywhere in our 
land called forth by the visit of Mr. Dickens to America ; 
not because of his talents alone, but in consideration of 
the noble use he has made of those talents, in indicating 
the rights and claims and feelings of humanity at large, 
without distinction of rank or circumstances." 

"Resolved: That in welcoming Charles Dickens to 
America, we feel that we are at once paying due homage 
to genius and fulfilling the demands of gratitude ; for 
as individuals we owe gratitude to the minister of intel- 
lectual delight, and also as Republicans we are bound 
to thank him who has, in his writings, so eloquently 



maintained the cause of the humble and oppressed, who 
exhibits, in every line, his own keen sensibility to wrong, 
and the prevailing spirit of all whose work is a touching 
illustration of the truth that in the elementary constitu- 
tion of men there is no difference, whatever difference 
may have been created." 

"Resolved: That in the arrangement of a fitting recep- 
tion for the visitor we delight to honour, regard be had 
to the participation of the ladies; for we feel assured 
that our countrymen will look with little favour on any 
device which excludes them from joining in a festival 
given in honour of him whose imagination and heart 
gave birth to ' Little Nell.' ' 

"Resolved: That all gentlemen present, and such 
others as may be hereafter named, constitute a General 
Committee." 

Mr. Hone's diary contains an entry of February i, 
referring to meetings of the committees in charge of 
arrangements for both the ball and dinner 

"I went to two Bos meetings last evening; one at the 
Carlton House, of the dinnerites, at which Chief Justice 
Jones presided. A committee of arrangement was ap- 
pointed and the officers of the dinner selected. They 
consist of Washington Irving, John Duer, John A. 
King, Judge Betts and myself, and we are to determine 
on the presiding officer and the names of the vice-presi- 
dents. The other was a meeting of the ballites, at the 
Astor House, the Mayor in the chair. A long report 
from the Committee was adopted. This affair is in a 
forward state, and promises to eclipse the Lafayette Ball 
at Castle Garden." 

The following is the letter to Mr. Dickens inviting him 
to the ball, which Mr. Hone was delegated to prepare 

New York, January 26, 1842. 
SIR, 

The citizens of New York having received the 
agreeable intelligence of your arrival in the United 
States, and appreciating the value of your labours in the 



NEW YORK 



107 



cause of humanity, and the eminently successful exercise 
of your literary talents, are ambitious to be among the 
foremost in tendering to you and your lady the hearty 
welcome which they are persuaded is in reserve for you 
in all parts of our country. With this object in view, 
we have been appointed a committee in behalf of a large 
meeting of gentlemen convened for the purpose, to 
request your attendance at a public ball to be given in 
this city. 

Mr. Golden, one of our members, will have the honour 
of presenting the invitation, and is charged with the 
agreeable duty of presenting their congratulations on 
your arrival. We shall expect, through him, your kind 
acceptance to this invitation and your designation of the 
day when it may suit your convenience to attend. 

We are, sir, 

With great respect, 

Yr. Obt. Servants 



I 



Danl. B. Tallmadge. 

Chas. A. Davis. 

John C. Cheesman. 

Wm. H. Maarwelt. 

Prosper M. Wetmore. 

A. M. Cozens. 

John R. Livingstone, Jr. 

Wm. B. Darr. 

James M. Smith, Jr. 

William Granden. 

Waddell. 

D. S. Gregory. 

Wm. Grimell. 

Wm. Starr Miller. 

F. A. Tallmadge. 

Robt. W. Morris. 

Philip Hone. 

To Charles Dickens, Esq., etc. 

Mr. Golden went to Boston and presented this letter 
to Dickens, and returned to New York with the following 
reply 



John W. Francis. 
J. W. Edmonds. 
Chas. W. Sanford. 
Geo. P. Morris. 
Wm. Turner. 
A. G. Stout. 
R. Faynweather. 
W. R. 

Martin Hoffman. 
J. Beekman Fish. 
James Phalen. 
W. H. Appleton. 
F. W. Edmunds. 
S. Draper. 
J. S. Bartlett. 
John Inman. 



108 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Tremont House ', Boston, January 28, 1842. 

MY DEAR SIR, 

I beg to convey to the Committee of Gentlemen, 
whose organ you are, very hearty and cordial thanks for 
their most kind congratulations ; and my glad acceptance 
of the honour they propose to confer upon me. 

I have had the pleasure of seeing your agent, and 
of explaining my movements and engagements to that 
gentleman. Rest assured that I shall be proud and 
happy to meet you at any time you may appoint, after 
receiving his explanation of my engagements. 

With many thanks to you and the Committee 
generally, 

I am, My dear Sir, 

Yours, faithfully and obliged, 

CHARLES DICKENS. 
Robert Morris, Esq. 

The date set by the Committee for the ball after 
receiving this letter was Monday, February 14, and the 
place at which it was to be held was the Park Theatre. 

As stated, Dickens arrived in New York on Sunday, 
1 3th, and on the next day there appeared in the Tribune 
the following notice of his arrival 

"Charles Dickens with his lady reached our city on 
Saturday, in the steamboat from New Haven, and was 
allowed with very little annoyance to proceed to his 
rooms at the Carlton House. A very miscellaneous, but 
not large, assemblage had collected on the wharf where 
he landed, but they were content to gratify their curiosity 
in silence. We believe he was permitted to spend the 
evening and the Sabbath in peace undisturbed to go to 
church or stay at home as he chose to eat his dinner 
undepressed by the brooding horror of a speech to make 
at the end of it and to go out and in unannoyed by a 
spy standing ready to note down his words and caricature 
his actions. If the facts were otherwise he will at least 
do our country the justice to satisfy himself that his tor- 
mentors are not American. He will this evening attend 
the grand ball given in honour of his visit at the Park 






NEW YORK 109 

Theatre, and on Friday evening he will be present at a 
superb dinner given him by our foremost citizens at the 
City Hotel. He will leave the city on his progress south- 
ward this day fortnight. We understand that he has 
already promised to attend as many parties, dinners, 
balls, etc., as will occupy the entire interim, leaving 
little or no opportunity for unharassed observation. 
This is to be regretted ; since it is not in our fashionable 
and holiday life that he can find materials for future por- 
traiture and higher intellectual effort. It was not in ball- 
rooms and dinner parties that he learned to stir the heart 
of universal humanity with the rugged fortunes of Oliver 
Twist and Nicholas Nickleby, the woes of hapless Smike, 
and the fortitude and purity of angelic Nell." 

The following, from the Evening Post of February 4, 
contains the report of the Committee in charge of the 
"Boz Ball" 

Boz in New York. The arrangements for reception 
to Mr. Dickens in New York are on the most splendid 
scale. A sub-committee, appointed by the general com- 
mittee, to suggest a plan of proceeding, made the fol- 
lowing report : " That they had considered it advisable 
to offer Mr. Dickens and his lady a public ball; that, to 
heighten the effect of the ball, and in compliance with 
the desire generally expressed, they recommended that 
the ball-room should be made to represent compartments 
of the ' Curiosity Shop,' in which the productions of 
' Boz ' might be illustrated ; and, in order to give a novel 
and agreeable feature to the intended fete, they suggested 
that a number of tableaux vivant should be formed 
by competent artists, in the intervals of the dances, 
' drawn from the novels, poems, sketches and dramas of 
Mr. Dickens, and shadowing forth in living pictures the 
graphic and glowing descriptions of this singularly 
gifted and original author.' ' The Committee further 
recommended the following sketch of decorations and 
devices for the ball-room and arrangements for the floor 

i. The inside of the theatre to represent a magnificent 
saloon hung with chandeliers. 



110 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

2. The audience part of the house to be ornamented 
with festoons of flowers, garlands, draperies, and trophies 
emblematical of the different States of the Union. 

3. The floor to extend from the front of the boxes to 
the back of the building, where, on an elevated stage, 
arrangements be made for the representation of numerous 
tableaux vivant from the works of Mr. Dickens, repre- 
sented by artists, under the direction of the Committee. 

4. The stage part of the theatre to be highly embel- 
lished with various designs from the writings of "Boz," 
illustrating many of the striking, original, novel, graphic 
and familiar scenes. 

5. A full and sufficient orchestra, comprising the prin- 
cipal musical talent at present in the city, to be engaged 
and so arranged as to add to the general effect, without 
diminishing the space allotted to the company. 

6. The ball-room to afford accommodation for upwards 
of 3,000 persons. 

7. The following arrangements are also recom- 
mended 



Order of the Dances and Tableaux Vivant. 



1. Grand March. 

2. Tableaux Vivant : A sketch 

by Boz. 

3. Amile Quadrille. 

4. Tableaux Vivant : The Sea- 

sons, a poem, music. 

5. Quadrille Waltz, Selections. 

6. Tableaux Vivant : The Book 

of Oliver Twist. 

7. Quadrille March, Norma. 

8. Tableaux Vivant: The Ivy 

Green. 

9. Victoria Waltz. 

10. Tableaux Vivant : Little Nell. 

11. Basket Quadrille. 

12. Tableaux Vivant : The Book 24 



13- 



of Nicholas Nickleby. 
March. 



14. Tableaux Vivant : A sketch 

by Boz. 

15. Spanish Dance. 

1 6. Tableaux Vivant : Pickwick 

Papers. 

17. Boz Waltz. 

1 8. Tableaux Vivant : Washing- 

ton Irving in England and 
Charles Dickens in America. 

19. Postillion Quadrille. 

20. Tableaux Vivant : Curiosity 

Shop. 

21. March. 

22. Tableaux Vivant : The Club. 

23. Contra Dance. 

Tableaux Vivant : The Book 

of Barnaby Rudge. 
Gallopade. 



On motion, it was resolved, that the chairman appoint 
a sub-committee of sixteen to carry the foregoing arrange- 




NEW YORK BAY 




CARLTON HOTEL, NEW YORK 



NEW YORK 111 

ments into effect. The following gentlemen were then 
named by the chair 

Philip Hone. William Starr Miller. 

John C. Cheesman. Charles A. Davis. 

Geo. P. Morris. Martin Hoffman. 

J. W. Francis. Jas. M. Smith, Jr. 

Henry Inman. Prosper M. Wetmore. 

W. H. Maxwell. John W. Edmonds. 
John R. Livingstone, Jr. Daniel B. Tallmadge. 
Charles W. Sanford. 

On February 8 the Evening Post published the rules 
and regulations to be observed at the ball, which were 
as follows 

"The ball to be given to Mr. Charles Dickens and lady 
under the direction of a committee of citizens of New 
York will take place at the Park Theatre on Monday, the 
1 4th of February. 

The doors to be open at half-past seven, and dancing 
to commence at nine o'clock. 

The Committee to appear in full ball dress, and w r ear 
rosettes with appropriate designs. 

Military and naval officers to appear in their respective 
uniforms. 

All fancy dresses to be positively excluded except such 
as are admitted under the direction of the Committee. 

An ample supply of refreshments to be provided for 
the company. 

Cloak- and retiring-rooms to be set aside for the accom- 
modation of ladies, and suitable attendants to be in 
waiting. 

An awning to be erected in front of the theatre. 

Carriages will come into line with the horses' heads 
towards Chatham Street, and take up in the opposite 
direction. 

Gentlemen are requested to dismiss their carriages on 
arriving at the door and to take the one opposite to the 
entrance on their departure. 

The superintendent of carriages will be in attendance 



112 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

to preserve regularity and to see that no imposition be 
practised on the company through carelessness, extra 
charges or otherwise. 

An efficient police has been engaged to secure order 
on the arrival and departure of the company. 

No more persons will be admitted to the fete than the 
ball-room can conveniently accommodate. 

In behalf of the Committee of Citizens, 

ROBERT H. MORRIS, Chairman. 



D. C. COLDEN, \ 

D. C. PELL, J Secretaries. 



The following description of the ball is taken from the 
Evening Post of February 15 

"The fete at the Park Theatre, last evening, is 
described as one of the most magnificent that has ever 
been given in this city. The gorgeousness of the 
decorations and the splendour of the dresses, no less than 
the immense throng, glittering with silks and jewels, 
contributed to the show and impressiveness of the occa- 
sion. It is estimated that nearly three thousand people 
were present, all richly dressed and sparkling with anima- 
tion. The doors of the theatre were thrown open at half- 
past seven o'clock, and such was the eagerness to get in 
that in less than an hour the whole area of this immense 
building was densely crowded. Great pains had been 
taken with the decoration of the theatre, and the lobbies, 
halls, saloons, boxes and green-rooms were each taste- 
fully ornamented with festoons, wreaths, garlands, por- 
traits and statues. The seats of the first tier w ? ere covered 
with white muslin, trimmed with gold, and the columns 
festooned with fine drapery. The second tier was orna- 
mented with a series of medallions, rosettes and silver 
stars, representing the works of the distinguished guest 
of the evening, the centre ornament being the head of 
Mr. Dickens, surmounted by an eagle holding a laurel 
wreath. In the middle of the theatre was the orchestra, 
containing twenty-five seats, covered with muslin and 
gold, and hung with wreaths ; while the stage part of the 
room represented a large and magnificent chamber of 



NEW YORK 113 

carved and gilded oak, with deep Gothic windows on 
each side, and a lofty, fretted ceiling. The whole 
appearance was striking beyond description. 

"Mr. Dickens entered the theatre about nine o'clock, 
and after proceeding to the back part of the stage, was 
introduced by the Mayor to those who wished to speak 
with him. ' Mrs. Dickens,' says the reporter of the 
Express, ' is a fine-looking Englishwoman, and appeared 
much to enjoy the honours given her husband. Soon 
after entering, both participated in the dance in the 
cotillion in the centre of the room. Mr. Dickens was 
dressed in a suit of black, w r ith a gay vest, and Mrs. 
Dickens in a white, figured Irish tabinet trimmed with 
mazarine blue flowers; a wreath of the same colour round 
her head, and with pearl necklace and earrings. Her 
hair was curled in long ringlets.' 

"Between the different dances the tableaux vivant 
were exhibited at the back of the stage. A curtain, 
painted like the frontispiece of the Pickwick Papers, was 
drawn up at the sound of a gong, when the artists pro- 
cured for the occasion were discovered in attitudes and 
positions descriptive of several familiar passages from 
Mr. Dickens's works. These were 

1. Mrs. Leo Hunter's dress, dejeuner. 

2. The middle-aged lady in the double-bedded room. 

3. Mrs. Bardell faints in Mr. Pickwick's arms. 

4. Mrs. Bardell encounters Mr. Pickwick in prison. 

5. The red-nosed man discourseth. 

6. Mr. and Mrs. Mantalini in Ralph Nickleby's office. 

7. Oliver Twist at Mr. Maylie's door. 

8. Little Nell, her grandfather, the military gentle- 

man, and Mr. Slum's unexpected appearance. 

9. Little Nell leading her grandfather. 

10. The Stranger scrutinizing Barnaby's features in 

the widow's cottage. 

11. The Pickwick Club. 

12. Washington Irving in England and Charles 

Dickens in America. 

"The festivities, which passed off with much good 
feeling, were continued to a late hour in the night." 

i 



114 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Mr. Hone wrote in his journal, the day after the 
"Boz Ball" 

"Feb. 15. The agony is over; the ' Boz Ball,' the 
greatest affair in modern times, the latest compliment 
ever paid to a little man, the fullest libation ever poured 
upon the altar of the muses, came off last evening in fine 
style; everything answered the public expectations, and 
no untoward circumstances occurred to make anybody 
sorry he went. 

"The author of the Pickwick Papers is a small, bright- 
eyed, intelligent-looking young fellow, thirty years of 
age, somewhat of a dandy in his dress, with ' rings and 
things in fine array,' brisk in his manner, and of a lively 
conversation. If he does not get his head turned by 
all this, I shall wonder at it. Mrs. Dickens is a little, 
plump, English-looking woman, of an agreeable coun- 
tenance, and, I should think, ' a nice person.' ' 

In Forty Years in America, the author, T. L. Nichols, 
M.D., who attended the "Boz Ball," gives the following 
account 

"So it was a ball at the Park Theatre the Old Drury 
of New York where the Cookes, the Keans and 
Kembles had delighted us, that was fixed upon. There 
was a supper, I believe, and there was a series of tableaux 
vivant, representing some of the best scenes in the Pick- 
ivick Papers, and the earlier works of the ' immortal 
Boz.' I remember the immense crowd of the ' beauty 
and fashion ' of New York that filled the theatre from 
its dancing-floor, laid over stage and pit, to the gallery. 
I remember the mixed committee, official, fashionable 
and literary, and some one who aspired to all these dis- 
tinctions. I think Irving and Cooper were there I am 
sure of Halleck and Bryant. Willis sported his ringlets 
there, no doubt ; and can I ever forget the beaming, rosy, 
perspiring face of the American Korner, General George 
P. Morris? 

"There was a rush near the door, a flutter through the 
crowded theatre, a hush of expectation, a burst of ' See 
the Conquering Hero comes,' and the author of Pickwick 
and the Uncommercial Traveller, with all of the honour 






NEW YORK 115 

and pathos that lie between, burst upon our astonished 
and delighted vision. Then the cheers, then the waving 
of handkerchiefs from floor to boxes, and all the tiers 
and tears, no doubt, of joy and happiness, and bouquets 
innumerable, gave what was possible to the irrepressible 
enthusiasm of the hour. 

"I remember Mr. Dickens as my eye caught him 
there, with all that throng around him, and he the 
cynosure of ten thousand eyes, allowing each person 
present the usual number. His hair was in the bright 
gloss of its youthful, silken curls; his face was full, and 
ruddy with English health not seamed, as now, with 
the thought and work of all these years. His dress was, 
I thought, sufficiently pronounced; but he was, on the 
whole, eminently satisfactory and sufficiently imposing. 
It was hard to open a passage where two or three thou- 
sand people were crowding to see and be near, if pos- 
sible, shake hands with him, but with tremendous efforts 
he was escorted round the room. 

"We tried to dance. Mrs. General Morris honoured 
the thrice-honoured author with her fair hand for a 
quadrille, but the effort to dance was absurd. I remem- 
ber being in a set with two young army officers who 
were afterwards heroes in Mexico, but even their prowess 
could do little toward carrying their partners through 
the galop in such a rush. Happily it was before the age 
of crinoline, and what room there was we made the most 
of; but it was like dancing in a canebrake, the poor 
girls clinging to their partners to avoid being swept 
beyond their power to protect them." 

While Dickens wrote Forster that if he dropped a letter 
in the street it would be related in the newspapers the 
next day, a careful search of the New York Evening 
Post and New York Tribune, with the exception of full 
accounts of the ball and the dinner, fails to discover 
much, if any, to which he could take exception, as the 
only items found of a personal nature were brief notices 
that he had attended two private dinners, had gone to 
church on Sunday, had visited the Tombs, and that he 
had left the city and gone to Philadelphia. In fact, 
i 2 



116 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

neither of these papers gives any personal mention of his 
days from February 13 to March 5, a period of three 
weeks, with the exceptions noted above. Dickens, how- 
ever, in American Notes, tells of his visits to various 
public institutions, and of his wanderings around the 
city streets, Broadway, the Bowery, and visits to the 
theatres. Mr. Putnam wrote concerning his stay in New 
York 

"Prof. Felton was often with him, and some quiet 
evening walks were taken about the metropolis by the 
two, in which they visited some of the fashionable 
restaurants of the city. Speaking of the oyster suppers, 
in his Notes Mr. Dickens always alludes to his friend as 
the ' heartiest of Greek professors.' 

"Washington Irving came very often, and the meeting 
of these kindred spirits was such as might have been 
expected. They were delighted w r ith each other, and at 
all hours they were admitted. A great ball was given 
in honour of Mr. Dickens and his lady, a full account 
of which was given in the papers of that day. 

"Besides Irving and Felton, came Bryant, Willis, Hal- 
leek, Clark of the Knickerbocker, and many others of the 
stars of the literary firmament; and on one occasion Mr. 
Dickens had to breakfast with him, Irving, Bryant and 
Halleck. The clerk of the Carlton was himself a great 
lover of literature, and remarked to me, ' Good Heaven ! 
to think what the four walls of that room now contain ! 
Washington Irving, William Cullen Bryant, FitzGreene 
Halleck and Charles Dickens.' ' 

Mr. Charles Lanman of Georgetown, D.C., who was 
a friend of both Dickens and Irving, in an article pub- 
lished shortly after Dickens's death, wrote that Irving 
not only visited Dickens in New York in 1842, but that 
Dickens visited Irving at his residence at Sunnyside. 

Professor Felton, in his remarks on the death of 
Washington Irving, before the Historical Society of 
Massachusetts, gave some of his recollections of the 
intimacy between Dickens and Irving. He said 

"I passed much of the time with Mr. Dickens and 



NEW YORK 117 

Mr. Irving, and it was delightful to witness the cordial 
intercourse of the young man, in the flush and glory of 
his fervent genius, and his older compeer, then in the 
assured possession of immortal renown. Dickens said 
in his frank, hearty manner, that from his childhood he 
had known the works of Irving; and that before he 
thought of coming to this country, he had received a 
letter from him, expressing the delight he felt in reading 
the story of Little Nell." 

Dickens in one of his letters to Forster related how 
Irving broke dow r n in his speech at the Dickens Dinner 
at the City Hotel, but none of the New York newspapers 
mentioned the fact. 

The Aurora of Tuesday, February 15, contained the 
following notice of the two private dinners w 7 hich 
Dickens attended 

"Yesterday, Mr. Dickens and lady dined with Charles 
A. Davis, Esq., who resides, we believe, at 365, Broad- 
way, and is a merchant on Broad Street. This gentle- 
man is also distinguished in literature as the author of 
the letters of Major Jack Downing, which appeared in 
the New York Daily Advertiser, much the best of all 
that have been written under that signature. 

"This was a very quiet and excellent affair, and one 
calculated to give Mr. Dickens a very favourable idea 
of our society. 

"To-day (Tuesday) he will also dine out, and, if we 
are not misinformed, with Daniel C. Golden, Esq., of 
28, Laight Street. It will doubtless be an elegant affair, 
and the quiet family party, which Mr. Dickens insists 
upon, will be made up of the elite of the ancient regime. 
Indeed, it is probable that Mr. Dickens was never, in 
England, admitted into such really good society as since 
he landed in this country. He has seen and will see 
more aristocracy in Boston and New York than he has 
ever seen, and probably ever will see, in his native land." 

The Aurora is the paper which Dickens referred to in 
one of his letters to Forster, dated February 17, in which 
he wrote 



118 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

"Another paper, coming after the ball, dwells upon its 
splendour and brilliancy, hugs itself and its readers upon 
all that Dickens saw ; and winds up by gravely express- 
ing its conviction that Dickens was never in such society 
in England as he has seen in New York, and that its 
high and striking tone cannot fail to make an indelible 
impression on his mind ! " 

On Sunday, the 2Oth, Dickens attended St. John's 
Church with ex-President Van Buren. On Thursday, 
the 24th, he attended a private dinner at the Astor 
House, as shown by the following notice from the New 
York Express 

"Another Dinner to Dickens. On Thursday last 
Mr. Dickens fulfilled his last engagement in this city, 
when he dined with some fifty gentlemen at the Astor 
House. The dinner was strictly private, and, feeling 
this, each one threw off all those formalities he is com- 
pelled to assume when he knows every word and action 
is readily noted to be blazoned forth to the world. Mirth 
and good humour were the order of the night the guest 
delighted the company with two speeches abounding with 
rich humour and given most inimitably, and charmed 
every one by his unaffected manners and the spirit with 
which he entered into the engagements of the evening." 

The following extract from the Tribune of February 
23 is given, for the reason that it contains a letter of 
Dickens which is not included in the published volumes 
of his letters 

C. H. Delevan's Lecture. Notwithstanding the 
many festive and other birthday celebrations held last 
evening throughout the city, a Lecture on Temperance 
delivered by C. H. Delevan, Esq., at the Hall of the 
New York Society Library, drew a full and respectable 
audience. He divided the subject into four parts or 
classifications : economy, health and mental capacity, 
laws of decorum, and patriotism ; which he forcibly illus- 
trated by the retrospective and concurrent effects of in- 
temperance. Previous to the lecture Mr. D read the 

following communication from Charles Dickens, Esq. 



NEW YORK 119 

Carlton House, February 16. 

DEAR SIR, 

I very much regret, and so does Mrs. Dickens, 
that in consequence of the numerous engagements which 
we have made, it is not in our power to accept the 
welcome invitation of the New York Mechanics' Insti- 
tute. And I assure you that I regret this the more 
because I have formed the very highest respect for the 
object which brings them together on the anniversary 
of Washington's birthday, and for its great influence 
upon the most valuable portions of society. 

I am, dear sir, yours faithfully and obliged, 

CHARLES DICKENS. 
Charles H. Delevan, Esq. 

Monday, March 2, was the day Dickens visited the 
"Tombs" prison which he has so graphically described 
in the Notes. The Evening Post mentions the visit in 
the following brief item 

" Mr. Dickens has not yet left the city, being detained 
by the serious indisposition of his Lady. He walked 
through the Tombs yesterday, incognito, and visited 
most of the cells." 

The following article from the Evening Post of 
February 18 is interesting as giving the editor's idea of 
the reason for the enthusiasm with which Dickens was 
received in the United States 

" The Ovations to Mr. Dickens The French journal 
of this city, L.e Courier des Etats Unis, is endeavouring 
to account for the enthusiasm which has been manifested 
toward the author of the Pickwick Papers. It is a 
curious problem, it says, of the social physiology that 
deserves to be solved. Three causes are then assigned 
to account for what it considers this extraordinary 
ebullition of feeling. 

"The first of these is the instinctive desire which 
Americans have to refute the accusations of coldness, 
self-love, money-making, and Puritanic strictness, 



120 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

brought against them by foreigners, and to do this they 
resort to unusual displays, just as a man charged with 
avarice will indulge in some splendid extravagance to 
retrieve his reputation. The second is that they suppose 
the author has come to study their character and institu- 
tions, and are anxious to conciliate his good opinion, 
even to the extent of bribing his judgment. Like a 
young miss who expects a new lover, they take care to 
make their toilette with pains. And the third is that the 
austerity of our religious tenets and forms, preventing 
the people from those everyday social amusements to 
which other nations are accustomed, take these occasions 
to give vent to their natural love of hilarity and excite- 
ment. Six days are employed in the counting-house, 
and the seventh in the church. 

"We do not think our French critic has gone to the 
bottom of this matter. The main cause of the movement 
to which he refers is the merit of the individual, and an 
honourable desire on the part of the community to testify 
their appreciation of it. Many who take a more active 
part are, no doubt, prompted by a vain curiosity, or by 
a paltry ambition to render themselves conspicuous. 
But the great majority of them, we believe, are sincere 
admirers of the man and his work. His more obvious 
excellences are of that kind which are the more easily 
understood by all classes by the stable-boy as well as 
the statesman. His intimate knowledge of character, 
his familiarity with the language and experience of low- 
life, his genuine humour, his narrative power, and the 
cheerfulness of his philosophy, are traits that impress 
themselves upon minds of every description. But 
besides these, he has many higher traits to interest the 
higher orders of mind. They are such as recommend 
him particularly to Americans. His sympathies seek 
out that class with whom American institutions and laws 
sympathize most strongly. He has found subjects of 
thrilling interest in the passions, sufferings and virtues 
of the mass. As Dr. Channing has said, ' he shows that 
life in its rudest form may wear a tragic grandeur ; that 
amidst follies and excesses, provoking laughter or scorn, 
the moral feelings do not wholly die ; and that the haunts 






NEW YORK 121 

of the blackest crime are sometimes lighted up by the 
presence and influence of the noblest souls. His pictures 
have a tendency to awaken sympathy with our race, to 
change the unfeeling indifference which has prevailed 
toward the depressed multitude into a sorrowful and 
indignant sensibility to their wrongs and woes. 

" Here we have the secrets of the attentions that have 
been showered upon Mr. Dickens. That they may have 
been carried too far is possible; yet we are disposed to 
regard them, even in their excess, with favour. We 
have so long been accustomed to seeing the homage of 
the multitude paid to men of mere titles or military 
chieftains that we have grown tired of it. We are glad 
to see the mind asserting its supremacy to find its 
rights generally recognized. We rejoice that a young 
man without birth, wealth, title, or a sword, whose only 
claims to distinction are in his intellect and heart, is 
received with a feeling that was formerly rendered only 
to conquerors and kings. It is but a fair return. The 
author, by his genius, has contributed happy moments 
to the lives of thousands, and it is right that the thou- 
sands should recompense the gift. If their enthusiasm 
shall be always as discriminating as it is in this instance, 
there will be little reason to complain. 

"Yet, it must be confessed, there is much truth in 
the third position assumed by the writer for the French 
journal." 

The account of the dinner at the City Hotel has been 
reserved for a separate chapter, containing, as it does, 
so many interesting speeches, and particularly that of 
Mr. Mathews on International Copyright, which gives 
the arguments from the standpoint of both the American 
and English authors. 



CHAPTER VI 

THE DINNER AT THE CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 

THE following invitation was sent to Mr. Dickens on 
his arrival at Boston 

New York, January, 1842. 

To CHARLES DICKENS, Esq. 

DEAR SIR, 

The undersigned, for themselves, and in behalf 
of a wide circle of their fellow-citizens, desire to con- 
gratulate you on your safe arrival, and tender to you a 
sincere and hearty welcome. 

Though personally unknown, still we can assure you 
that you will find yourself no stranger among us. That 
genius with which you have been so singularly gifted, 
and which your pen has directed with such consummate 
skill, in delineating every passion and sympathy and 
peculiarity of the human mind, has secured to you a 
passport to all hearts ; whilst your happy personifica- 
tions, and apt illustrations pointing at every turn a 
practical and fruitful moral, have rendered your name 
as familiar to us as household words. 

In testimony of our respect and high regard, as a 
slight, though thankful tribute to your genius, we 
request that you will name as early a day as will suit 
your convenience to meet us in this city, at a public 
dinner, where, as elsewhere, it will be our pride and 
pleasure to express to you our gratitude for the many 
rich intellectual feasts you have so often spread before 
us. 

We are very sincerely and cordially, your friends, 

122 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 123 



I 



S. Jones. 

William T. McCoun. 
Saml. R. Betts. 
John Duer. 
Henry Gary. 
Theodore Sedgwick. 
Wm. Saml. Johnson. 
D. S. Kennedy. 
James G. King. 
Henry Brevoort. 
Charles March. 
Anthony Barclay. 
J. Prescott Hall. 
James Gallatin. 
John A. King. 
Wm. Kent. 
David S. Golden. 
G. G. Howland. 
James I. Jones. 
Jacob R. Leroy. 
M. C. Patterson. 



Washington Irving. 
Philip Hone. 
Daniel B. Tallmadge. 
David S. Jones. 
Martin Hoffman. 
Charles King. 
Wm. C. Bryant. 
Wm. B. Astpr. 
Maturin Livingston. 
Hamilton Fish. 
Jas. D. P. Ogden. 
M. H. Grinnell. 
Wm. H. Aspinwall. 
Edward Curtis. 
Edward Jones. 
Wm. C. Rhinelander. 
Abm. Schermerhorn. 
Thos. W. Ludlow. 
FitzGreene Halleck. 
Chas. Augs. Davis. 



Mr. Dickens's reply 

Tremont House, Boston, 

January 27, 1842 

MY DEAR SIRS, 

I need not tell you that I accept with inexpressible 
pride and pleasure the invitation with which you have 
honoured me, and I cannot tell you how much moved and 
gratified I have been by the terms in which it is conveyed. 
Your kind and earnest words have done my heart good 
you have made me feel indeed that I am no stranger 
among you, and I have looked at your names a hundred 
times, as if they were the faces of old friends. 

As nearly as I can guess, I shall be in New York 
on Saturday, the i2th of February, or it may be a day 
earlier. Any day toward the latter end of the following 
week that will suit you, will suit me. 

Be assured that you cannot name any time which 
will not be a bright day in the calendar of my life, and 



124 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

that all hours and seasons will be alike welcome to 
me. 

Believe me, dear sirs, with cordial and affectionate 
regard, your faithful friend, 

CHARLES DICKENS. 

To the Committee, etc., etc., New York. 

The day fixed for the dinner was Friday, February 
1 8, and the following report of the dinner is reprinted 
from the New York Evening Post of February 19, with 
the exception of the speech by Mr. Cornelius Mathews, 
which is taken from the Tribune 

Dinner to Mr. Dickens. A large number of persons 
were present at the complimentary entertainment given 
to Mr. Charles Dickens, at the City Hotel, last evening. 
Washington Irving presided on the occasion, assisted 
by Judge Betts, Philip Duer, John Hone, Gulian C. 
Verplanck, John A. King and James de Peyster Ogden, 
who acted as vice-presidents. 

The tables were sumptuously furnished with all the 
delicacies of the season and the room was elegantly 
decorated and arranged. Reverend Henry W. Bellows, 
of the Unitarian Church, asked the benediction, and 
after the cloth was removed the president rose and 
said 

I never regretted more than I do at this moment my 
want of the habit of public speaking. For I feel that I 
could now wish to give way to the current of my 
thoughts and feelings. And yet I am like a poor horse- 
man and must be careful how I get into the saddle or 
I shall be thrown from my seat. And yet, on further 
consideration, I do not see much cause to regret this 
inability of mine to interest you in this way; for I feel 
that there will be no want of champions ready to take 
my place. I see so many of them round me at this 
moment, firmly seated in their saddles, and who find it 
difficult to rein in their steeds, until the signal is given 
them to start. So, therefore, I leave the field, and with 
a few preliminary remarks I will dispose of my part of 




CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 
Where the ' Dickens Dinner ' was given 




PARK THEATRE, NEW YORK 
Where ' Boz Ball ' took place 

124 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 125 

the subject. I confess I never rose under deeper or 
more pleasurable excitement or with more feelings of 
pride as an author, than when I look around on this 
assembly of my townsmen, met to greet the arrival of 
an author among them. I never was more proudly con- 
scious of the intellectual character of my countrymen 
than in witnessing this burst of enthusiasm which has 
been echoed from city to city, to welcome a mere literary 
visitor to our land. (Applause.) And this, too, at a 
time of great public distress, when every mind, more 
or less, is corroded by care, and the most prosperous 
among us doubts the foundation of his prosperity. 

Gentlemen, this enthusiasm is of the right kind. It 
speaks well for the people it speaks well for the nation. 
We have been accused of being sordid and mercenary 
and too much given up to the pursuits of our more 
worldly interests. But in the present instance our en- 
thusiasm has given the lie to the charge and has spon- 
taneously arisen in one wide scene of homage paid to 
intellect. (Cheers.) Gentlemen, it is impossible for 
me to proceed gentlemen I'll give you a toast 

Charles Dickens, the literary guest of the nation. 

When the applause with which this sentiment was 
greeted had subsided, Mr. Dickens arose and spoke 
substantially as follows 

Gentlemen I don't know how to thank you I really 
don't know how. You would naturally suppose that 
my former experience would have given me this power, 
and that the difficulties in my way would have been 
diminished, but I assure you the fact is actually the 
reverse and I have completely baulked the ancient 
proverb that "a rolling stone gathers no moss," and in 
my progress in this city I have collected such a weight 
of obligations and acknowledgments I have picked up 
such an enormous mass of fresh moss at every point, 
and was so struck with the brilliant scenes of Monday 
night, that I thought I could never by any possibility 
grow any bigger. Allow me again : I have made 



126 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

continually new accumulations to such an extent that I 
am compelled to stand still, and can roll no more ! 

Gentlemen, we learn from the authorities that when 
fairy stones, or balls or rolls of thread, stopped of their 
own accord which I do not it presaged some great 
catastrophe to be near at hand. The precedent holds 
good in this case. When I have remembered the short 
time I have before me to spend in this land of mighty 
interests, and the poor opportunity I can at best have 
of acquiring a knowledge of, and forming an acquaint- 
ance with it, I have felt it almost a duty to decline the 
honours you so generously heap upon me and pass more 
quietly among you, for Argus himself, though he had 
but one mouth for his hundred eyes, would have found 
the reception of a public entertainment once a week too 
much for his greatest activity; and as I would lose no 
scrap of the rich instruction and the delightful know- 
ledge which meet me on every hand, and already I have 
gleaned a great deal from your hospitals and common 
jails, I have resolved to take up my staff and go my 
way rejoicing, and for the future to shake hands with 
America not at parties, but at home; and therefore, 
gentlemen, I say to-night with a full heart and an honest 
purpose and grateful feelings that I bear, and shall 
ever bear, the deep sense of your kind, your affectionate 
and your noble greeting which it is utterly impossible 
to convey in words. No European sky without and no 
cheerful home or well-warmed room within shall ever 
shut out this land from my vision. I shall often hear 
your words of welcome in my quiet room and oftenest 
when most quiet ; and shall see your faces in the blazing 
fire. If I should live to grow old, the scenes of this 
and other evenings will shine as brightly to my dull 
eyes fifty years hence as now and the honours you 
bestow upon me shall be well remembered and paid back 
in my undying love and honest endeavours for the good 
of my race. 

Gentlemen, one other word with reference to this first 
person singular, then I shall close. I came here in an 
open, honest and confiding spirit if ever man did, and 
because I felt a deep sympathy in your land; had I felt 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 127 

otherwise, I should have kept away. As I came here, 
and am here, without the least admixture of one hun- 
dredth part of one grain of base alloy, without one 
feeling of unworthy reference to self in any respect, I 
claim in reference to the past for the last time, my right 
in reason, in truth and in justice, to approach as I have 
done on two former occasions, a question of literary 
interest. I claim that justice be done, and I prefer this 
claim as one who has a right to speak and be heard. 
I have only to add that I shall be as true to you as you 
have been to me. I recognize in your enthusiastic 
approval of the creatures of my fancy, your enlightened 
care for the happiness of the many, your tender regard 
for the afflicted, your sympathy for the downcast, your 
plans for correcting and improving the bad, and for 
encouraging the good; and to advance these great 
objects shall be to the end of my life my earnest 
endeavour to the extent of my humble ability. 

Having said this much with reference to myself, I 
shall have the pleasure of saying a few words with 
reference to somebody else. 

There is in this city a gentleman who at the reception 
of one of my books I well remember it was The Old 
Curiosity Shop wrote to me in England a letter so 
generous, so affectionate, and so manly that if I had 
written the book under every circumstance of disappoint- 
ment, of discouragement and difficulty, instead of the 
reverse, I should have found in the receipt of that letter 
the best and most happy reward. I answered him and 
he answered me, and so we kept shaking autographic- 
ally, as if no ocean rolled between us. I came here to 
this city eager to meet him, and [laying his hand upon 
Irving' s shoulder} here he sits ! I need not tell you 
how happy and delighted I am to see him here to-night 
in this capacity. 

Washington Irving ! Why, gentlemen, I don't go 
upstairs to bed two nights out of the seven as a very 
creditable witness near at hand can testify I say I do not 
go to bed two nights out of the seven without taking 
Washington Irving under my arm. 

And when I don't take him, I take his own brother, 



128 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Oliver Goldsmith. Washington Irving! Why, of 
whom but he was I thinking the other day when I came 
up by Hog's Back, the Frying Pan, Hell Gate and all 
these places ? Why, when not long ago I visited 
Shakespeare's birthplace, and went beneath the roof 
where he first saw light, whose name but his was pointed 
out to me upon the wall ? Washington Irving 
Knickerbocker Geoffrey Crayon why, where can you 
go that they have not been there before ? Is there an 
English farm is there an English street, an English 
city or an English country-seat where they have not 
been ? Is there no Bracebridge Hall in the distance ? 
Has it no ancient shades or quiet streets ? 

In bygone times, when Irving left that hall, he left 
sitting in an old oak chair, in a small parlour of the 
Boar's Head, a little man with a red nose and an oilskin 
hat. When I came away he was sitting there still ! 
Not a man like him, but the same man with the nose 
of immortal redness and the hat of an undying glaze ! 
Crayon, while there, was on terms of intimacy with a 
certain Radical fellow who used to go about with a hat 
full of newspapers, woefully out at elbows, and with a 
coat of great antiquity. Why, gentlemen, I know that 
man Tibbies the Elder, and he has not changed a 
hair. And when I came away he charged me to give 
his best respects to Washington Irving. 

Leaving the town and the rustic life of London, for- 
getting this man if we can, putting out of mind the 
Country Churchyard and The Broken Heart, let us 
cross the water again, and ask who has associated him- 
self most closely with the Italian peasantry and the 
bandits of the Pyrenees ? When the traveller enters his 
little chamber beyond the Alps, listening to the dim 
echoes of the long passages and spacious corridors, 
damp and gloomy and cold as he hears the tempest 
beating with fury against his window, and gazes at the 
curtains, dark and heavy and covered with mould, and 
when all ghost stories that ever were told come up before 
him mid all his thick-coming fancies, whom does he 
think of ? Washington Irving. Go farther still go to 
the Moorish fountains, sparking full in the moonlight 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 129 

go among the water-carriers and the village gossips, 
living still as in days of old, and who has travelled 
among them before you, and peopled the Alhambra, 
and made eloquent its shadows ? Who awakes there 
a voice from every hill and in every tavern, and bids 
legends, which for centuries have slept a dreamless 
sleep or watched unwinkingly, start up and pass before 
you in all their glory ? 

But leaving this again, who embarked with Columbus 
upon his gallant ship traversed with him the dark and 
mighty ocean leaped upon the land and planted there 
the flag of Spain but this same man now sitting by 
my side ? And being here at home again, who is a more 
fit companion for money diggers, and what pen but his 
has made Rip Van Winkle playing at ninepins on 
that thundering afternoon as much a part and parcel 
of the Catskill Mountains as any tree or crag that they 
can boast. 

But these are topics familiar from my boyhood, and 
which I am apt to pursue, and lest I should be tempted 
now to talk too long about him, I will in conclusion 
give you a sentiment most appropriate, I am sure, in 

the presence of such writers as Bryant, Halleck and 

But I suppose I must not mention the ladies here 

The Literature of America She well knows how to 
do honour to her own literature, and to that of other 
lands, when she chooses Washington Irving for her 
representative in the country of Cervantes. 

Judge Betts, the first vice-president, when called on 
for a sentiment, after a brief and pertinent address, gave 
the following 

The Literature of Romance Its highest powers 
have been displayed in depicting everyday life, and the 
language of everyday life. 

John Duer, Esq., second vice-president, was called 
upon. He said: "Mr. President, it is a duty, a most 
solemn duty, I am called upon to perform, and I shall 
perform it with a solemnity befitting the occasion. And 
if any person here is supposing that he will be enter- 
tained, or find occasion for jest or unseemly merriment 

K 



130 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

his hopes will be sadly disappointed. I stand here in 
the capacity of public prosecutor of one accused of high 
crimes and misdemeanours. Without further preamble I 
shall proceed to discharge my duty. You have before 
you a great criminal, and you, gentlemen, are the jury 
empanelled to pass on the guilt or innocence of the 
accused. We have had great difficulty in getting pos- 
session of the person of the criminal. He has recently 
arrived in this country, and was immediately seized by 
some evil-disposed persons, and while in their hands 
forced to submit to such treatment that to me it is a 
wonder and mystery that he was able to survive. He is 
now here, and we have to pass upon his guilt or inno- 
cence, and I have no doubt that he will receive his 
deserts. This paper which I hold in my hand is an 
indictment recently found. (Great laughter.) Really, 
gentlemen, this laughter upon this solemn occasion 
appears to me very unseemly. This paper, I say, is 
an indictment recently found by the Grand Jury of the 
City and County of New York. It is endorsed Wash- 
ington Irving, Foreman, Charles A. Davis, Secretary 
so that its authenticity cannot be doubted. This indict- 
ment I shall now proceed to read, and I ask for it your 
serious attention 

CITY AND COUNTY OF NEW YORK, SS. 

The Grand Jurors of the City and County of New 
York, in the Name and Behalf of the People of the 
State of New York and of the United States, on their 
oaths present that one Charles Dickens, otherwise called 
Boz, now or late of the city of Westminster, in that 
part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and 
Ireland called England, Gent, not having the fear of 
critics before his eyes, and being thereunto moved and 
instigated by a certain familiar spirit, and restless 
genius, heretofore, to wit, on the first day of January, 
in the year 1836, and on diverse days and times during 
the said year 1836, and during the year 1837, at the 
city of Westminster aforesaid, to wit, in the city and 
county of New York, made, composed, indicted, wrote, 







WASHINGTON IRVING 



130 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 131 

printed and published, or caused and procured to be 
printed and published, in a succession or series of 
numbers, and in pamphlet form, diverse papers loosely 
stitched, called and known by the name, appellation or 
denomination of Pickivick Papers; and that the said 
Charles Dickens, otherwise called Boz, during the year 
aforesaid, and on diverse days and times in every sub- 
sequent year, to the year 1841 inclusive, by the means, 
intervention and agency of diverse subordinate persons 
called editors, publishers and booksellers, to wit, 5000 
editors, 10,000 publishers and 10,000 booksellers, caused 
and procured the said Pickwick Papers to be reprinted 
and re-published in a great variety of shapes and forms, 
to wit, in newspapers, weekly journals, magazines, 
pamphlets and books ; and that the said Charles Dickens, 
otherwise called Boz, during the years aforesaid, in 
addition to the copies sold and distributed in the said 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of 
the continent of Europe, caused and procured, by and 
through his agents aforesaid, a large number of copies, 
to wit, 200,000 copies of the said Pickwick Papers, so 
reprinted and republished, to be vended, sold, circulated 
dispersed and distributed throughout the State of New 
York aforesaid, and throughout the United States, and 
in every city, town, village and hamlet thereof : 

And the Grand Jurors aforesaid, on their oaths afore- 
said, further say that the said Pickwick Papers purport 
to contain a history of the proceedings, actions and 
discourses of the members of a certain pretended asso- 
ciation or club, called the Pickwick Club, and that in 
the said history, the ingredients of which, humour and 
pathos, are mixed and compounded with so much skill 
and art, and the various events, incidents, adventures 
and scenes therein related are painted, are described, 
with so much vivacity and force and with such a deep 
insight into the true springs of human action and 
thought, and the characters of the persons therein intro- 
duced, and rendered throughout so probable and con- 
sistent, that the whole narration is made to wear and 
assume the semblance of truth, nature and reality, so 
that many thousand persons, not only in the said United 

K2 



132 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, but in the state 
of New York aforesaid, and throughout the United 
States, in reading the said Pickwick Papers, have not 
only experienced many strange and violent changes of 
mood, fear, temper and thought, but the Grand Jurors 
aforesaid, on their oaths aforesaid, say that a large 
number of persons in the state of New York aforesaid, 
to wit, 200,000 persons, and a much larger number of 
persons in the United States, to wit, 500,000 persons, in 
reading and studying the said Pickwick Papers, have 
been seduced, deceived, deluded and cheated into the 
persuasion, conviction and belief that the said pretended 
Pickwick Club was and had been an actually existing 
club, and that the scenes, incidents, adventures and 
events in the said Pickwick Papers described had 
actually taken place, happened and occurred, and that 
the persons whose actions and discourses in the said 
papers were, or have been actually true and living 
persons; whereas the Grand Jurors aforesaid, on their 
oaths aforesaid, say that the several matters, things, 
events, incidents, persons and characters in the said 
Pickwick Papers contained, are the sole product of 
the fancy and imagination and invention, prompted 
by the observation and judgment of the said Charles 
Dickens, otherwise called Boz; and that no such club 
as the pretended Pickwick Club was ever formed or 
existed, and that no such events, incidents, adventures 
and scenes as in the said Papers are described, ever 
took place, happened or occurred; and that the persons 
whose actions and discourses in the said papers are 
related were not and never have been actual, true and 
living persons : with the exception of Samuel or 
Samivel Weller, whom the Grand Jurors aforesaid, on 
their oaths aforesaid, say they verily believe to be a 
real person, now living in the city of London, to wit, in 
the city and county of New York, aforesaid : 

And the Grand Jurors aforesaid, on their oaths afore- 
said, further say that the said history or narrative in 
the said Pickwick Papers contained, and the events, 
incidents, adventures, scenes, persons and characters 
aforesaid, so far from being, as is commonly asserted 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 133 

and believed, real, genuine, authentic and true, are all, 
each and every one of them, with the exception afore- 
said, wholly, absolutely and altogether feigned, fictitious, 
fabulous and false. 

Wherefore the Grand Jurors aforesaid, on their oaths 
aforesaid, present and charge that the said Charles 
Dickens, otherwise called Boz, now or late of West- 
minster aforesaid, in making, composing, inditing, 
writing and in printing and publishing, or in causing 
to be published the paper so called the Pickwick 
Papers as aforesaid, and in causing and procuring the 
same to be reprinted and republished, vended, sold, 
circulated and distributed as aforesaid with the intent 
not only to cheat, deceive and delude the subjects of 
the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and 
Ireland, and the subjects of the several kings, princes, 
potentates and powers on the continent of Europe, but 
with the further special and wicked intent to cheat, 
deceive and defraud the good citizens of this state and 
the United States, has been and is guilty of high crimes 
and misdemeanours, contrary to the statute in such 
case made and provided, and against the peace of the 
people of the State of New York and their dignity. 

Mr. Duer followed up this playful vein by acting as 
judge and prosecutor, assuming that the truth of these 
grave charges against Boz was matter of universal 
notoriety and needed no formal proof, nor could the 
culprit be allowed to plead to the indictment for fear of 
his fascinating tongue. A plea of not guilty would be 
entered for him as not pleading; but the judge would 
allow no pleading, and he summoned the company 
present as a jury to give their verdict. " Guilty " was 
the unanimous response, amidst a tempest of most 
unjudicial cheers. The judge proceeded to pass sentence 
upon him that he should not repent, but go on repeating 
his transgressions which the jury concurred in most 
heartily. 

Mr. Philip Hone, after a few happy remarks, gave 

A Bill at Sight Drawn by Cheeryble Brothers in 

favour of Charles Dickens, on American Hospitality. 



134 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Accepted and duly honoured without discount or 
defalcation* 

He was followed by Gulian C. Verplanck, who con- 
trasted the author they were met to welcome with the 
earlier English authors. He then remarked on the 
stronger relish with which the productions of the English 
genius were read in this country, than those of Germany 
and France, assigning the causes of it, and concluded 
with this toast 

The health of all who, speaking the rich tongue that 
Shakespeare spoke, unite with us in awarding to genius 
its fitting honours. 

Hon. John A. King, fifth vice-president, on being 
called on, spoke as follows 

"If it could be permitted, on such an occasion, to go 
back to the period which terminated in Europe with 
the overthrow of that master-spirit which aspired to the 
empire of the world, and which ended in this country 
in the establishment of peace between the two kindred 
nations if it might also be permitted to contrast that 
period with the present, and show the influence pro- 
longed peace has had on nations and individuals, it 
would afford a most remarkable study for the historian 
and philanthropist. A long war of revolutionary am- 
bition had deluged the eastern continent in blood, and 
man, with all his energies, was the patient instrument 
of power, ambition and never-ending conflict; then all 
the intelligence of the age, its men of Letters, of Science 
and the Arts, were either seduced to praise or awed into 
silence by the blandishments or menaces of power. Man 
was then a slave, for he toiled and bled not for himself, 
but for others. The mind, then, too, given to be free 
as the elements, lost its vigour, or at least worked only 
by command. When peace with her golden wings 
covered again the earth, the salient springs of know- 
ledge once more gushed forth in every land. The Mind 
of man, recoiling upon itself, soon taught him the 
power that was in him, and the great objects to be 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 185 

attained and secured by the uncommon exercise of all 
his faculties. The Slave became suddenly the Master, 
and he who lately received the unresisting command of 
a superior, now bows alone to intelligence and worth. 
The first was the Age of Iron this the Golden Era. 
The first saw the human passions freed and millions 
led to battle at the will of the conqueror this beholds 
those passions subdued, and increased millions obedient 
under equal laws and regulated liberty. Among the 
nations which have made the greatest advance in all 
the arts, inventions and humanities of peace, England 
and America are most distinguished. The common 
origin, language and laws have mutually encouraged 
and supported each other in the noble race of emulation. 
Where liberty dwells and the laws are equal, each one 
feels their elevating power, and man stands forth in all 
his varied attributes. The spirit of the age is full of 
inquiry, and knowledge flows in from every side. 
Education here at least will spread, draw on our gener- 
ous minds abroad, and send back in return the free 
offerings of kindred minds. The age, too, is marked 
by the varied inventions and productions of genius. 
The power of steam, the great agent of modern times, 
has solved both time and space, and multiplied to an 
unlimited extent the power of man in every branch of 
art and industry ; and quickly and variedly as the human 
head ever works, this great agent can throw as rapidly 
upon the printed pages. 

Another and perhaps a greater power has also grown 
up and been strengthened by the peaceful relations of 
the world during a quarter of a century. This power 
and influence of mind have been achieved by the press 
the ready instrument of the fertile mind in spreading 
its riches before millions of thinking and intelligent 
men. In all branches of knowledge writers of the 
highest order have flourished. In the popular branches 
of literature a new and most attractive style has arisen, 
true in the delineation of individual character and of 
classes of men depicting in the most graphic manner 
their impulses, habits and passions. Among the gifted 
writers who have thus revealed and illustrated the 



136 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

mysteries of the human heart, describing scenes of the 
deepest interest in the easiest and most eloquent manner 
appealing most forcibly to the finest sympathies of our 
nature, and giving to his varied works the best moral 
direction, stands the guest whom we here in this western 
hemisphere this day receive and welcome as a brother 
and a friend. 

Young, but of rare renown, he comes among us who 
have eagerly sought and read and appreciated each 
effort of his genius; he has left a great and powerful 
and kindred people to visit another land, where millions 
of free men are also ready to greet and grasp him by 
the hand who has so often charmed and delighted their 
leisure hours. Here then he stands in the midst of an 
intelligent and reading people, ready ever to do honour 
to genius and talent, belong to whom it may, and above 
all to those who, writing in their mother tongue, record 
in such eloquent and glowing colours the sufferings, the 
wrongs, the patient virtues of those whose lot is cast 
in the humble walks of life. If in crossing the wide 
ocean which separates, but which would never divide, 
us, he has changed his native skies to those less genial, 
perhaps, because not his own, may the mind and genius, 
alike the pride of either shore, know no friendly change, 
but return in all its pristine vigour to observe, describe 
and illustrate the good and the evil, wisdom and folly, 
as each in its turn, or in mingled action, shall rise up 
before him. He had found us a true, intelligent and 
wholly a generous and confiding people; and he may 
accept here the general wish that he may find health 
and all that he deserves among us; and return once 
more to his household gods, maybe rejoice in our 
glorious destiny, as we have and do in that of his great 
and illustrious country. 

The sculptor lives in the breathing stone, the painter 
in the glowing canvas, but he lives in the affections of 
the people, who in revealing the mysteries of the human 
heart, has shown that its virtues and its feelings are 
alike independent of station and of power. 

D. P. Ogden, sixth vice-president, being next called 




DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 137 

on, closed a forcible tribute to Mr. Dickens by per- 
tinently reminding the company of the services and 
achievements of American authors, and of their claims 
to the gratitude and affectionate regard of their country- 
men. He proposed 

The Republic of Letters Having mankind for a 
constituency, it invites all the world to share the rich 
blessings it bestows. 

Mr. C. A. Davis, after reading some letters from 
Governor Seward and other invited guests, closed with 
a humorous reply front his friend, Major Jack Downing 

To the Gentlemen of the Committee for the dinner 
to Mr. Boz. 

Washington^ February 15, 1842. 

There is nothing in nature would tickle me so desper- 
ately as to be able to go on to York and eat dinner 
along with Mr. Boz but I can't nohow and noway in 
the world, and the Capting thinks it best that I wait 
here till Mr. Boz comes this way, as he wants me to 
take a share in shaking hands at the White House. 

There are very few folks nowadays who desarve 
more civilities on the score of gratitude for few folks 
now living or dead have done more to scrape the shins 
of the wicked to plead the causes of the destitute and 
suffering, and to nail to the counter like a bad penny the 
hard-hearted and selfish. 

As to laming and book-study, no matter how much 
a man has if he keeps it all to himself and looks and 
feels wise, he is of no more use to his fellow-critters 
than a miser who stores away his gold in an old stock- 
ing, but if he tells what he knows and thinks, and puts 
it into sech shapes as let young and old, high and low 
understand and be instructed by it then he is entitled 
to gratitude, and I hope he will get his full share of 
it, especially as he ain't likely to get anything else so 
long as some of our folks understand "copy-right" to 
mean "right to copy." 

There is one class of writers that I and the Capting 



138 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

have a shocking bad opinion of it is them chaps that 
thinks there ain't sickness and sorrow and suffering and 
hard times enough in this world, and so they turn and 
rile up folks, and make muddy water betwixt them, and 
are never so happy as when they injure better people 
than themselves, and being ashamed to sign their own 
names to their dirty work, clap down "Brutus" and 
"Cato" and "Nebuchadnezzar" and "Judas Iscariot" 
and other old Roman and foreign Injuns. The Capting 
and I keep our eye on these chaps, and when we know 
who they are, they may as well look for a frost in June 
as an office, I tell you, Sonny. But when they use 
their pen in grubbing up tangled briars and making 
the path clear for a happy journey through life, the 
Capting is sure to remember them. You see how it 
was t'other day in that appointment to Spain ; he asked 
no questions, just wrote doen the name of Geoffrey 
Crayon as nat'ral as putting on his mittens. So there 
is no telling yet how soon I may stand a chance to get 
a post office or land office as a reward for my long 
labours. 

I did hope that Mr. Boz would come into the states 
down east, so as to take a look at Downingville, and 
begin the country at sunrise; but I suppose he thought 
it best to land first where he did on account of the 
compliment paid to his grandfather, who was a warm 
friend of the Pilgrims before they left home and so 
they called ft Bosting after him ; and if it had not been 
for the ignorance or vanity of the early printers the 
spelling would be now as it was before the Revolution. 
The least, however, that can now be done is to correct 
that error, and bring it back to the good old Pilgrim 
spelling, "Boztown." It is due to old Mr. Boz, and to 
his great grandson who comes out in the middle of 
winter to see us. It will please infinitely, too, a good 
many honest old folks along up the northeastern 
boundary-line, who are unwilling to see izzards turned 
into esses and snaix crawling off under other spellings 
just to justify some new twistification instead of letting 
letters tell their own story. 

J am sorry to hear that Mr. Pickwick and Samivel 



I 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 139 

Weller havint come out with Mr. Boz, specially Samivel, 
for I wanted to see him amazingly and have a chat 
with him. I think there is as much left of that critter 
as has yet been threshed out of him ; but that is saying 
a good deal before such a man like Mr. Boz, who can 
put his rake on a stubble that others have cut before 
him and carry off more clear corn than the first reapers. 
I see that Mr. Boz let the old clock run down at hum. 
If he's willing I'll lend him one I bought of Samuel 
Slick. It's a wooden one, but can tick as loud as if 
it was all brass, and will run a plaguy long time if 
well wound up. If there is a spare hole to stick in 
another toast without alarming folks as Oliver Twist 
did when he asked for more, please scrooge in the 
following 

The Quill May the ink it sheds in the cause of truth 
and justice (and in good old Anglo-Saxon lingo) wet in 
the priming of the war gun, while its feather-end tickles 
the nose of the base passions of all creation into good 
humour and happy smiles. 

J. DOWNING, MAJOR, etc. 

The president, Washington Irving, having proposed 
the following sentiment 

International Copyright It is but fair that those who 
have laurels for their brows should be permitted to 
browse on their laurels. 

Mr. Cornelius Matthews, one of the editors of 
Arcturus, having been called, rose and responded to 
the sentiment as follows 

I answer your summons, Mr. President, under some 
restraint. I am not quite sure that it becomes me, a 
humble lay-brother of the order of authors, to trouble 
a diplomatist and Spanish Minister, in any way, with 
the insignificant affairs of the fraternity. But when I 
recollect how the distinguished gentleman on your right, 
a monk at least if not a bishop, has been lately received 
in this great city of ours, I am re-assured : knowing how 
you, once an honoured member of the craft, are going 
forth from the country, its ambassador and representa- 



140 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

tive, and how he, a man of letters, in full communion 
with the brethren, has just entered it I think I may 
venture to say a word or two of rights which you hold in 
common. In speaking on the subject of an International 
Copyright, at this time, I would not be understood as 
being moved by any new impulse or sudden enthusiasm ; 
but as uttering convictions carefully considered and long 
entertained. 

That I am speaking in the presence of an eminent 
foreign writer the universality of whose genius, appeal- 
ing by its delineations to all classes and conditions of 
men, would seem to entitle him to an universal recogni- 
tion of his rights will, I believe, by no means diminish 
the force of what I may say. 

It is argued, sometimes, I know, that authors have no 
rights; and a paper-dealing tradesman of this city, 
greedy of some sort of renown, has lately contended, if 
we could but get English Books at the cost of type and 
paper (the author being considered an impertinent third 
party), all the ends of good literature would be answered. 
I might ask this artful casuist, how it would suit his 
convenience he being a man of some stamp and char- 
acter among his neighbours to come abroad in the open 
light of day in a coat yet odorous of the fingers of the 
petit-larceny thief; a hat savouring of the burglar's fist; 
his pockets jingling with the transferred coin of a bank 
robber : but I look beyond this miserable economical 
subterfuge, and seek, somewhat farther down, the actual 
operation of an uncopyrighted Foreign Literature, re- 
printed without restraint. There is at this moment 
waging in our midst a great war between a Foreign 
and a Native Literature. The one claims pay food, 
lodging, and raiment ; the other battles free of all 
charges, takes the field, prepared for all weathers and 
all emergencies; has neither a mouth to cry for susten- 
ance, a back to be clothed, nor a head to be sheltered. 

The conflict between a paid literature and an unpaid 
is a fierce one while it lasts ; it cannot last long. The 
one relies on the feeble and uncertain impulses of author- 
ship; the other is driven on by all the restless interests 
of trade. What, sir, is the present condition of the 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 141 

Field of Letters in America ? It is in a state of desperate 
anarchy without order, without system, without cer- 
tainty. For several years past, it has been sown broad- 
cast with foreign publications of every name and nature ; 
what growth has ensued? No single work, so far as I 
can see, has sprung up as its legitimate result ; no addi- 
tion to the stock of native poetry or fiction ; no tree has 
blossomed; no solitary blade struck through the hard 
and ungrateful turf. Whatever has been produced has 
been in spite of opposition from within and without ; has 
been the bright exception, not the rule. Instead of being 
fostered and promoted, as it should be, our domestic 
literature is borne down by an immethodical and unre- 
strained republication of every foreign work that will 
bear the charges of the compositor and paper-maker. 

Under the regulations of an International Copyright, 
the work of a British author would be published here in 
its order ; would take its chance with other works, native 
and foreign ; would be valued and circulated according 
to its worth ; and would hold its rank in due subordina- 
tion to the judgment passed upon it by the side of other 
compositions. What is the case now ? A new work by 
the author of Charles O'Malley reaches this country 
a pleasant, lively, vivacious picture of Irish life and 
dragoon service, well worthy of being printed by some 
prominent house, furnished to the libraries, and put in 
the hands of a liberal circle of readers, in due course of 
trade. This would be proper and natural. On the con- 
trary, twenty, yea, fifty, or a hundred hands for the 
giant of Republication is single-eyed and many-handed 
are thrust forth, spasmodically to clutch the first 
landed copy ; it is followed, watched to its destination ; 
violent hands are perhaps laid on it to snatch it from its 
first possessor; it is reprinted; early copies are de- 
spatched into the country; new editions follow, In 
pamphlet, in book, by chapters in a thousand news- 
papers; the land is vocal with the unrestrained chuckle 
of the daily and weekly press over this new acquisition ; 
while no other writer, whatever his merit, if his popu- 
larity be but a degree less, is listened to. What hope is 
there here for the native author ? 




142 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

The odds are tremendous; and I do not hesitate to 
say, sir, that if he had thousands to lavish on the print- 
ing of a single work, a press in every village, a pub- 
lisher of enterprise and spirit in every city, the purchased 
control of fifty newspapers he would be only beginning 
to enter the field on anything like fair terms with Dr. 
Lever. The one literature, the Foreign, is propelled 
through the country by steam; the other, the Native, 
halts after on foot or in such conveyances as a very 
narrow purse may bargain for. Principles, it may be, 
alien to our own, travel with the speed of lightning, 
while national truths, in which we have the profoundest 
interest, follow at a lacquey's pace behind. As an 
American I feel this and I avow it. From the contem- 
plation of that distinguished author, glorying in the 
zenith of a reputation universal as the light of day, my 
eyes turn away, and in the sequestered retreat, in the 
cramped and narrow room, seek that other brother of 
his, poor, neglected, borne down by the heavy hand of 
his country, laid, like an oppressor's, upon him ; and I 
feel that the conditions of human life are hard indeed. 
Far be it from me, sir, to indulge in idle repinings over 
any of the inevitable sufferings of authors or of men ; 
still farther be it from me to cast any shadow upon the 
general joy of this occasion; but I feel it my duty, as I 
trust in God I always shall, to say something, wherever 
I can, in behalf of the victims of false systems, the 
children in this case the orphans, rather, I might say 
who inherit the wide kingdom of Thought, and who 
toil bitterly in secret, in labours not seen of the eye, that 
the world may have enough of mirth and cheerful truth 
to make the day wear through. Standing here to-night, 
the representative, in some humble measure, of the 
interests of American authors in this question, I say 
they have been treated by this people and government 
as no other of its citizens ; that an enormous fraud prac- 
tised upon their British brethren, has been allowed so to 
operate upon them as to blight their hopes and darken 
their fair fame. They have remonstrated, and will, until 
the evil has grown too great to be encountered, or is 
subdued. I might speak especially in behalf of the com- 






DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 143 

pany of young native writers, who, seeing how well the 
world was affected toward good literature, and moved by 
some kindly impulses of nature, may have hoped in their 
way to add something to the happiness, something to 
the renown of their country. But we are advised how 
others, who thought they had secured a constant and 
enduring hold on the public good will by past character 
and services, have also been affected by the present 
injurious state of affairs. 

You, sir, for example, in that retreat of yours, classical 
in the world's affections, having matured a work of some 
value and which you think ready for the metropolitan 
market, take passage down the Hudson in company with 
one of your farmer neighbours, who has, perhaps, just 
fattened his fall stock to a grain : with your manuscript 
in your pocket recollecting, too, that in times past, 
your handicraft has been held in some repute you 
flatter yourself you will find a prompt purchaser for 
whatever you bring. You call, sir, on certain traders 
in Cliff Street, you suggest the MSS. "For Heaven's 
sake, Mr. Irving," is the response of the blandest mem- 
ber of the firm, the one that talks to the authors, "don't 
plague us just now ; we have a profound respect for your 
talents, an ardent affection for American Literature : but 
Mr. Bulwer's Zanoni has arrived, and we must have a 
hundred hands on it before night. Call again, we shall 
be happy to see you 1 " 

Then, sir, meditating on the patriotic courtesy of the 
gentleman you have just left, you shape your course 
toward a great Publishing House in Broadway : famous 
heretofore for a certain solidity and selectness of pub- 
lication, but having been lately bitten by the Number 
viper which, by the by, is encompassing the Earth, 
like the Great Snake of the Hindoo Mythology they 
beg you, with some natural tears in their eyes, not to 
interrupt them just then: "The Big Papers, the Mam- 
moth Press, is on the alert : they must have Handy 
Andy on the counter by Saturday or the tide will be 
down with them : " and behold, sir, the author of the 
Sketch Book, the illustrious historian of New York, 
very much in the situation of the ostrich of the desert 



144 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

having an egg to lay, but nowhere to lay it; and, like 
it, I might add, greatly disposed to hide his head for 
very shame. How has it fared, sir, in the meantime, 
with your sturdy neighbour and his charge ? In robus- 
tious health, cheerful of spirit, with no misgivings what- 
ever, he makes the voyage to New York; remembers 
many a hearty welcome, many a lucky market in times 
past; and has no sooner touched the wharf, than he is 
seized upon by a dozen or more red-cheeked hucksters, 
who well nigh embrace him from the joy they feel at his 
coming; he runs hastily over an inventory of what he 
has brought so many turkies of a year old, so many 
spring chickens, so many cocks and hens, and before he 
has had a chance to unbutton his overcoat, his mer- 
chandise is off his hands, and he casts about in his mind 
at what comfortable chop-house he shall hold an inter- 
view of settlement, and reckon his gains over a snug 
meal and glass of choice cider. 

Now, sir, I would ask, is not your brood of speckled 
fancies, as honestly begotten from the beginning, as his 
parti-coloured capons ? Are not your historical truths 
as solid and substantial, as real to the mind as his gross- 
fed turkies to the body? Are not your racy courses of 
humour as much a solace and comfort to the soul as his 
web-footed waddlers to the palate ? The property is as 
real, as actual in one case as the other ; and why should 
it not command its price ? That, sir, is a wretched 
country, or a wretched condition of things, where the 
best products of the best workman in any department 
are not in demand. And it is just so here at present. 

The public taste is so deeply affected by the interested 
laudations of inferior authors by the republishers, that 
the value of literary reputation, as well as literary pro- 
perty, is greatly impaired. No distinction is made 
between good writers and bad ; they all appear in the 
same dress, under the same introduction ; and the judg- 
ment of the general reader is so perplexed that he cannot 
choose between Mr. Dickens and Mr. Harrison Ains- 
worth between the classical drama of Talfourd and the 
vapid farce of Boucicault. As this system deepens and 
strengthens itself, as it does every day, an American 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 145 

celebrity will cease to have any semblance of the dis- 
criminating applause of a "contemporaneous posterity," 
and be regarded only as the confused shout of a distant 
crowd. I know that to many of our trans-Atlantic 
brethren their American reputation is dear and valued; 
and for their sakes I would not have a system endure by 
which its worth will be so surely diminished. 

This brings me, gentlemen, to another aspect of the 
cause I am pleading with you. It has been a matter of 
surprise in some quarters that Mr. Dickens, a British 
writer, has addressed the American people on the subject 
of Copyright. Amid the happier visions which have 
crowded his English chamber for the last five or six 
years, are we quite sure that no Corsair face has ever 
looked in ? no eager visage of the ink-stained pirate, 
with a hand stretched stealthily towards the MS. on his 
desk, to snatch it away ere it was dry, and blazon it 
throughout the whole New World, as an acquisition 
honestly made ? May not his brightest hours have been 
darkened, at times, by the fancy of a grim row of repub- 
lishers rising before him line upon line of readers, 
beginning at the Atlantic and stretching to the very 
verge of Oregon, with lines crossing them from Penob- 
scot to the Mexican Gulf, all busy in the self-same task, 
turning page after page of what he has written roaring 
with laughter, melting in tears until the contemplation 
of it (with the thought that no honest penny was gained 
to him by all this pleasant show that was going forward) 
has become actually painful to his mind? And when, 
landing on our shores, these very readers, many of 
them, drew nigh and took him by the hand in a very 
earnest, friendly grasp, too and made solemn vows and 
protestations of friendship was it less than natural that 
he should speak to them, in the confidence of frank 
discourse, of what had so often pressed painfully on his 
thoughts ? 

He was among brethren, in his own younger brother's 
house, and because he ventured to speak of a patrimony 
they held in common, with a like interest as himself, 
shall he be condemned ? 

But all this broadens into a general question, and one 



146 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

to which we are bound to give heed. I will take it for 
granted, sir, that every gentleman within hearing of my 
voice is aware that fifty-six British Authors and among 
them many that have given lustre to the age applied to 
the American Congress for an international copyright, 
and were refused. I will also take it for granted that 
every gentleman here admits that there may be a good 
indefeasible right and property in a book as in any other 
estate. By what casuistry or jurisprudence does that 
which is property in one latitude in one civilized country 
cease to be property when transferred within the limits 
of another ? 

The most precious property of one country in another, 
as I regard it, is its books. To us, what is Germany, 
half so much as Goethe ? Greece but Homer ? And 
England is nearer and dearer to us by her long array of 
great writers, than by the constant intercourse of com- 
merce, the closest compacts and treaties of amity. Her 
writers ask that this claim should be allowed ; that all the 
relations of the two countries shall not be reduced to a 
gross, material standard ; but that they shall have a pro- 
perty, as they have a right, in whatever of noble senti- 
ment, or enduring thought they may impart to us; and 
that we shall have a like property with them. That we 
have heretofore enjoyed their labours free of charge, is 
nothing; that we have lived on their free bounty for a 
long time creates in us no claim as it should no desire 
to become perpetual almoners of theirs. A true spirit 
of national fair-dealing, not to say national dignity, 
would impel us to disclaim the charity, and persuade us 
to purchase what we read, as well as what we eat and 
wear. 

I have said nothing, sir and I might have said much 
of the mutilation of books by our American repub- 
lishers that outrageous wrong by which a noble Eng- 
lish writer, speaking truths in London dear to him as 
life, is made to say in New York that which his soul 
abhors. This, sir, silent and uncomplaining as it seems, 
is a despotism as gross as that of the rack and the thumb- 
screw, which wrings from men, under torture, falsehoods 
to flatter the tormentor. What right have I, sir, to stifle 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 147 

the utterance of any manly spirit to offer him oppor- 
tunities of speech, and then, in bitterest mockery, abridge 
the truth he would deliver ? Soul speaks to soul through 
all distances of time and space ; and accursed should he 
be that ventures to thrust his uncouth shadow as a 
softening medium, between the two ! We have friendly 
treaties, Mr. President, by which property and person, 
as commonly acknowledged, are sacred between the two 
nations. Is it not worth the while of statesmen and 
legislators to incorporate hereafter a provision by which 
the great rights of Thought, of the soul speaking in its 
highest moods, shall be cared for and guarded ? 

I desire to see the two sections of Anglo-Saxon Litera- 
ture on either side of the great ocean, moving harmoni- 
ously onward ; they giving to us whatever they have of 
maturity and art, and we returning, as we are bound, all 
of freshness and vigour with which a new world may 
have inspired us. I desire to see something of the great 
debt, now accumulated for ages, which we owe to the 
brotherhood of British writers, cancelled; first, in the 
true honest currency of dollars and cents, known to the 
Union as the representative value between man and 
man ; secondly, in works of genius, the growth of our 
own soil, coloured by our own skies, and showing some- 
thing of the influences of a new community, where 
nature comes fresh and mighty to her task. A thousand 
voices now slumber in our vales, amid oiir cities and 
along our hill-sides, that only await the genial hour to 
speak and be heard. Silence would no longer brood, as 
it now does, over so many fair fields, nor, "moon-like, 
hold the mighty waters fast." Alleghany would have a 
voice, to which the Metropolis, with its hundred steeples 
and turrets, would answer; gulf and river, and the broad 
field would reply, each for itself, until the broad sky 
above us should be shaken with the thunder tones of 
master-spirits responding to each other; the whole wide 
land echo from side to side with the accents of a Majestic 
Literature self-reared, self-sustained, self-vindicating ! 

I offer you, Mr. President 

An International Copyright The only honest turn- 
pike between the readers of two great nations. 

L 2 



148 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Eloquent addresses were made by the Rev. Mr. 
Bellows and the Mayor, and among others these toasts 
were offered 

Mr. Kennedy proposed : The Clergy of the City of 
New York who "allure to brighter worlds and lead the 
way." 

Mr. Bellows answered : Our Vernacular Tongue the 
English language a recovery from the confusion of 
Babel destined yet to build a tower to reach to heaven. 

By Mr. Bronson : Master Humphrey's Clock 
Though it goes on tick, always in good credit. 

By L. Gaylord Clark, editor of the Knickerbocker: 
The Health of Sergeant Talfourd who stands among 
the tribe of our later dramatists like an ancient Grecian 
statue in a gallery of modern casts. 

By R. H. H. The Works of our Guest Like Oliver 
Twist "we ask for more." 

****##* 

The following account of the dinner is from Mr. 
Hone's diary 

"Feb. 1 9th. The great dinner to Dickens was given 
yesterday at the City Hotel, and came off with flying 
colours. Two hundred and thirty persons sat down to 
dinner at seven o'clock. The larger room was orna- 
mented with two illuminated scenes from the works of 
' Boz,' busts of celebrated persons and classical devices, 
all in good taste; and the eating and drinking part of 
the affair was excellent. The president was Washington 
Irving (I beg pardon, ' His Excellency '). Non nobis 
was sung by Mr. Horn and a band of vocalists, who 
gave several glees during the evening. After the intel- 
lectual operation of eating and drinking was concluded, 
the president rose and began a prepared speech, in which 
he broke down flat (as he promised us beforehand he 
would), and concluded with the toast : ' Charles Dickens, 
the literary guest of the nation.' To this the guest 
made acknowledgment in an excellent speech, delivered 
with great animation and characterized by good taste 
and warm feeling. 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL, NEW YORK 149 

An unusual feature in this festivity was the presence 
of a coterie of charming women, who were first stowed 
away in a small room adjoining the upper part of the 
hall, and who, with a laudable and irrepressible curiosity 
to hear me, and others equally instructive and agreeable, 
at the lower end, edged by degrees into the room, and 
finally got possession of the stage behind the president, 
to the discomfiture of certain pleasant old bachelors and 
ungallant dignitaries, but to the great delight of us who 
profess to have better taste in such matters. This flying 
squadron of infantry consisted of Mrs. Davis, Mrs. 
Golden, Miss Wilkes, Mrs. Dickens, Miss Sedgwick, 
Miss Wadsworth, the Misses Ward, Mrs. Burrows, 
Mrs. Parrish, Miss Anna Brigden and others, all of 
whom seemed to regret they could not take a more active 
part in the business of the evening. The dinner with 
the ball on Monday night is a tribute to literary talents 
greater than any I can remember; and if the English 
people do not repay it in some shape to our eminent 
men, they are no great things." 

Professor Felton, in his address before the Massa- 
chusetts Historical Society on Washington Irving, gave 
the following interesting account of Irving's breakdown 
in his speech introducing Dickens at the dinner 

"Great and varied as was the genius of Mr. Irving, 
there w r as one thing he shrank with a comical terror from 
attempting, and that was a dinner speech. A great 
dinner, however, was to be given to Mr. Dickens in 
New York, as one had already been given in Boston ; 
and it was evident to all that no man but Washington 
Irving could be thought of to preside. With all his 
dread of making a speech, he was obliged to obey the 
universal call and to accept the painful pre-eminence. 
I saw him daily during the interval of preparation, either 
at the lodgings of Dickens or at dinner or evening 
parties. I hope I showed no want of sympathy with 
his forebodings, but I could not help being amused with 
the tragi-comical distress which the thought of that 
approaching dinner caused him. His pleasant humour 




150 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

mingled with the real dread and played with the whim- 
sical horrors of his own position with an irresistible 
drollery. Whenever it was alluded to, his invariable 
answer was, ' I shall certainly break down ! ' uttered 
in a half-melancholy tone, the ludicrous effect of which 
it is impossible to describe. He was haunted as if by 
a nightmare; and I could only compare his dismay to 
that of Mr. Pickwick, who was so alarmed at the pros- 
pect of leading about that ' dreadful horse ' all day. At 
length the long-expected evening arrived ; a company of 
the most eminent persons, from all the professions and 
every walk of life, were assembled, and Mr. Irving took 
the chair. I had gladly accepted an invitation, making 
it, however, a condition that I should not be called upon 
to speak a thing I then dreaded quite as much as Mr. 
Irving himself. The direful compulsions of life have 
since helped me to overcome, in some measure, the post- 
prandial fright. Under the circumstances an invited 
guest with no impending speech I sat calmly and 
watched with interest the imposing scene. I had the 
honour to be placed next but one to Mr. Irving and the 
great pleasure of sharing in his conversation. He had 
brought the manuscript of his speech and laid it under 
his plate. ' I shall certainly break down,' he repeated 
over and over again. At last the moment arrived. Mr. 
Irving rose and was received with deafening and long- 
continued applause, which by no means lessened his 
apprehension. He began in his pleasant voice, got 
through two or three sentences pretty easily, but in the 
next hesitated, and after one or two attempts to go on, 
gave it up with a graceful allusion to the tournament, 
and the troops of knights all armed and eager for the 
fray, and ended with the toast : ' Charles Dickens, the 
guest of the nation.' 'There,' said he, as he resumed 
his seat under a repetition of the applause which had 
saluted his rising, ' there ! I told you I should break 
down, and I've done it.' 

"There certainly never was made a shorter after-dinner 
speech ; I doubt if there ever was a more successful one. 
The manuscript seemed to be a dozen or twenty pages 
long, but the printed speech was not as many lines. I 



DINNER AT CITY HOTEL ; NEW YORK 151 

suppose that manuscript may be still in existence; and 
if so, I wish it may be published. Mr. Irving often 
spoke with a good-humoured envy of the felicity with 
which Dickens always acquitted himself on such 
occasions." 



CHAPTER VII 

PHILADELPHIA 

DICKENS left New York Sunday, March 6, in the 
afternoon and arrived in Philadelphia late that night. 
At the present time the traveller goes to the railroad 
station in the heart of the city, gets on a train which 
takes him through the tunnel under the Hudson River, 
and in two hours he is landed in Philadelphia. It was 
different in 1842, for, as Dickens wrote at that time, 
the journey was made by railroad and two ferries and 
occupied nearly six hours' time. On his arrival he went 
to the United States Hotel, which stood on Chestnut 
Street opposite the United States Bank. In American 
Notes he does not even mention the name of the hotel, 
and does not say whether it was good, bad or indifferent, 
while in almost every other city he visited he has some- 
thing to say of the character of the hotel he stopped 
at. It is possible that the reason he said nothing of the 
United States Hotel was on account of the fact that, as 
he had complained in one of his letters to his friend, 
Thomas Mitton, the landlord had charged him for his 
rooms and board from the date he had engaged the 
rooms, instead of from the actual time of his arrival a 
week later. 

At the time of Dickens's visit there were four daily 
papers in Philadelphia, and while there was neither a 
ball nor a dinner given in his honour, as in New York, 
and while there was no authorized reception given him, 
and while he spent his time in visiting the Penitentiary, 
water-works, and other public institutions, and was only 
in the city two days, all four of these papers informed 
the public very fully as to a reception which some of 
the papers said was authorized and others said was 
unauthorized. 

152 






PHILADELPHIA 153 

That Dickens did not desire any public reception in 
the city was generally known is shown by the follow- 
ing notice which appeared in the Philadelphia Gazette, 
two weeks before his arrival in the city 

"Mr. Dickens will visit this city in a few days. He 
wisely declines all dinners, parades, shows, junketings 
and things of that sort, preferring to meet such private 
unostentatious hospitalities as a courteous people should 
extend to any gentleman, and a stranger." 

Similar notices appeared in some of the other papers, 
but notwithstanding Dickens's wishes, there was at 
least one man who determined that if it could be accom- 
plished, Dickens should hold a public reception, and 
being a politician of some influence, he had the follow- 
ing item inserted in the Public Ledger on Tuesday 
morning 

"Mr. Dickens. This gentleman will, we understand, 
be gratified to shake hands with his friends between the 
hours of half-past ten and half-past eleven o'clock. He 
leaves for the South to-morrow." 

That this announcement brought crowds to the hotel, 
and that it was a surprise to Mr. Dickens, can be seen 
by this short account of the affair which appeared in one 
of the morning papers the next day 

"Boz. It was stated in one of the morning papers 
yesterday, that Mr. Dickens would be happy to see his 
friends between half-past ten and half-past twelve o'clock 
yesterday. And few men, we believe, have been more 
unexpectedly surprised at the number of unknown 
friends, than was Mr. D., especially as he was ignorant 
of the intention of any one to invent such an article. 
However, the public came, and Colonel Florence, who 
was present, introduced the numerous visitors until Mr. 
Dickens, who has been unwell for some time, was com- 
pelled to retire. We do not know, not having been 
present, how many called upon Mr. D., but probably a 
large number. 

"Mr. Dickens was to visit the Eastern Penitentiary 




154 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

at twelve o'clock, and after inspecting the place, was to 
dine with some friends. He expected to depart soon." 

The Philadelphia Gazette did not believe the announce- 
ment of the reception was authorized, as shown by their 
account of the affair 

"Mr. Dickens Rudeness and Cruelty. Some of 
the morning papers contained a sort of semi-official 
announcement that Mr. Dickens would receive the calls 
of gentlemen between the hours of ten and twelve 
to-day. Consequently a crowd gathered there, and 
among others, curiosity led us to the United States 
Hotel. We found ' Boz ' in a large reception-room in 
the second storey, earnestly toiling away with all his 
might, shaking the hands of a dense crowd of people, 
as they promiscuously thrust out their digits, at the 
announcement by Colonel Florence, who appeared to be 
master of ceremonies. We understand that the invita- 
tion for gentlemen to call was wholly unauthorized, in 
consequence of Mr. Dickens's positive engagements and 
his rather delicate health, which must have suffered from 
the mistaken kindness and troublesome importunities of 
people before he reached this city. ' Boz ' has a very 
youthful look, with a profusion of hair and a winning 
smile, and a countenance decidedly affable. His voice, 
by which character is often indicated, we did not hear. 
We understand he will remain in town some days, and 
before he leaves, the citizens, doubtless, will have an 
opportunity of an introduction. But we beg of Philadel- 
phians to respect this distinguished stranger, if they do 
not themselves. Do not obtrude upon his time and 
patience by needlessly taxing his physical energies, and 
thus rendering his visit one of pain rather than pleasure." 

Colonel Florence, who seemed to have been the in- 
stigator of the notice advising the public of the recep- 
tion, and who acted as a self-constituted major-domo of 
the affair, felt that these accounts of the reception did 
him an injustice, and protested to the editor of the 
Gazette against the wrong that had been done him, 
with this result 



PHILADELPHIA 155 

"Colonel Florence has called upon us in behalf of 
himself and brethren of the ' Committee ' and assured 
us that they acted yesterday in conformity with the 
wishes of Mr. Dickens. He doubtless expected a few 
gentlemen in company with the Committee, but under 
some sort of mistaken kindness, the notice was made 
public, and half the city besieged poor ' Boz ' at his 
lodgings." 

Colonel Florence was evidently not of the same 
political persuasion as the editor of the Philadelphia 
Gazette, who took an opportunity to give the Colonel 
and the Committee a lesson in politeness, and some 
instruction as to the manner in which distinguished 
strangers should be treated when visiting the city, with- 
out the guidance of "Tom, Dick and Harry." 

"Mr. Dickens and the Public. It will be a matter 
of deep regret if the presence of this distinguished 
private gentleman in this city should give rise to 
heart-burnings and criminations among any portion 
of the citizens of Philadelphia. We stated yesterday 
that the invitation to call upon Mr. Dickens was pre- 
mature and unauthorized, yet he received those who 
did call with his characteristic ease and urbanity. It 
appears that a Committee, whether self-constituted or 
not the public have not been informed, addressed Mr. 
Dickens while in New York, begging him not to put 
himself into the hands of a ' clique ' when he reached 
this city. That Committee remarked, among other very 
queer things 

" ' It is needless to ask you whether you intend visit- 
ing Philadelphia. Doubtless you have determined this 
in your mind already; and, without doubt, many of the 
soi disant magnates of our city have conceived a multi- 
tude of plans for the monopoly of Boz, and it is of 
this that we complain ; for we cannot conceive why you 
should be the exclusive property of a self-delegated 
clique, who may claim to be all in all, to the exclusion 
of all others.' 

"Mr. Dickens replied, that when he reached Phila- 



156 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

delphia, he should be ' exceeding glad to shake hands ' 
with these gentlemen, but doubtless he expected, as 
they condemned ' exclusiveness ' and ' self-delegated 
cliques,' that he should not be under their special con- 
trol. Neither could he have expected that his move- 
ments, even remotely, would be subject to their arrange- 
ments or dictation. Yesterday, it appears, this self-same 
Committee inserted in many of the morning papers, on 
their own responsibility, a notice, that Mr. Dickens 
would see his friends between 10 and n. We were 
informed that Mr. D. did appoint this hour to receive 
the Committee, but as his health was not good and he 
had engagements elsewhere, which would prevent his 
seeing the public promiscuously, he was expecting only 
a few persons in his private apartment. Doubtless the 
Committee mistook the intentions of this gentleman in 
their eagerness to be civil, but when Mr. Dickens found 
a crowd below, with the complaisance of a gentleman, 
he submitted to their calls, and the ceremony proceeded 
for nearly two live-long hours ! 

"We protest against all this obtrusiveness and tres- 
passing upon the time and patience of a private gentle- 
man. Especially do we reprobate all the official action 
of men, who addressed him the absurd letter while in 
New York. They deprecate ' fawning ' or ' sycophancy.' 
but yet huddle about this gentleman and obtrude them- 
selves upon him in a manner which he has repeatedly 
condemned, asked to be rid of, and which every gentle- 
man despises. To this committee and all other com- 
mittees who are appointed, or who appoint themselves, 
to superintend the movements of distinguished gentle- 
men who come among us, we would only say, leave Mr. 
Dickens and all such people alone. They visit us for 
the purpose of seeing our institutions and to mingle 
with society, and with such private hospitality as is 
extended to them they will be well satisfied. Beyond 
this, they are capable of taking care of themselves and 
of seeking out their own pleasures and amusements, 
without the intervention of committees or the guidance 
of ' Tom, Dick and Harry.' Beyond this, it is posi- 
tively rude, if not exceedingly impertinent, for people 






PHILADELPHIA 157 

promiscuously to trespass upon either the time or atten- 
tion of private gentlemen, merely to gratify their vague, 
if not idle, curiosity." 

The editor of the Public Ledger also took a whack at 
that Committee and pitched into them even stronger 
than his fellow-editor of the Gazette, in the following 
article 

" Grand Reception of Bos that Committee and the 
shaking of hands. The United States Hotel was thronged 
yesterday morning by a crowd of the admirers of Dickens, 
in consequence of the publication of a notice that he would 
be happy to meet that Committee and perform the agree- 
able task of shaking them and their friends by the hand, 
which he had promised to perform in coming to our 
city. The Committee and ' troops of friends ' accord- 
ingly made their appearance, and agreeably to demo- 
cratic usages voted him into the corner of his room, 
and commenced the delightful ceremony of introducing 
him to all the Smiths, Browns, Greens and Johnsons 
present. Boz looked considerably distressed at first, as 
he had other arrangements which he considered more 
important, but being assured that such was the custom 
here, he put the best face upon the matter possible, and 
suffered his arm to be almost shaken off without a 
groan. The whole ceremony was managed in a truly 
simple, and consequently republican, way and must have 
made a deep and lasting impression on Mr. Dickens. 
We cannot pretend to give a perfect report, nor would 
we attempt to make a full one, of the sayings and doings 
in the reception chamber. We shall merely say that 
the Committee did their utmost to render the affair inter- 
esting and imposing, and the friends exerted themselves 
to an equal extent to ' present ' the intelligence of the 
city in a proper light to Boz. 

"As a notice of one introduction will suffice to show 
what most of them were, we will simply give that. 
Imagine the illustrious Boz standing in one corner of 
the room, with a member of the Committee on each 
side, and a number of distinguished friends near him. 



158 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

To accommodate all parties, the crowd in the room form 
an alley way to admit the ' friends ' outside ; the latter 
pass in at one door, Indian file, and after stopping to 
do the shaking, and express their opinion on the state 
of the weather, pass out in the same order through the 
other door. Everybody is excited, and some are so 
agitated as to be scarcely able to inform the introducing 
member what their names are. This was the case of 
an individual who bore the name of Brooks. On 
coming into the room, the introducing member asked 
the individual his name. ' Brooks,' replied he, in a 
tremulous whisper. ' Dukes, did you say ? ' rejoined 
the first. ' No, Brooks,' repeated the second in still 

Greater agitation. ' Oh, Snooks, is it, very well Mr. 
nooks, Mr. Dickens, Mr. Dickens, Mr. Snooks.' Mr. 
Brooks gave Boz his hand and looked out of the window. 
Boz smiled fatiguedly, shook the proffered hand feebly 
and let it fall, when Mr. Brooks put it in his pocket and 
walked off as if he had been doing something he would 
not like to be caught at. The same form was gone 
through with for an hour or two, when Boz became 
restive and vowed he would sink under such hospitality 
unless relieved. One of the Committee then announced 
that the gentlemen ' with hearts in their hands ' had to 
retire, as Mr. Dickens wanted their room! The 
' friends ' then went down, followed by ' that Com- 
mittee ! ' 

Mr. Putnam, in the Atlantic Monthly article pre- 
viously quoted, wrote regarding the unauthorized public 
reception referred to in the Philadelphia papers 

"A day or two after his arrival in Philadelphia, an 
individual somewhat prominent in city politics came 
with others and obtained an introduction. On taking 
his leave, he asked Mr. Dickens if he would grant him 
the favour to receive a few personal friends the next 
day, and Mr. Dickens assented. The next morning it 
was announced through the papers that Mr. Dickens 
would ' receive the public ' at a certain time ! At the 




I 11IHIII 




t'NITED STATES HOTEL, PHILADELPHIA 




'KXITEXTIAKY, I'M ILADK l.l'l 1 1 A 
158 



PHILADELPHIA 1$9 

time specified the street in front was crowded with people 
and the offices and halls of the hotel filled. Mr. Dickens 
asked the cause of the assemblage and was astonished 
and indignant when he learned that all this came of his 
permission to the individual above mentioned ' to bring 
a few personal friends for an introduction,' and he posi- 
tively refused to hold a ' levee.' But the landlord of 
the house and others came and represented to him that 
his refusal would doubtless cause a riot, and that great 
injury would be done to the house by the enraged 
populace; and so at last Mr. Dickens consented, and 
taking his place in one of the large parlours upstairs, 
prepared himself for the ordeal. Up the people came, 
and soon the humorous smiles played over his face, for, 
tedious and annoying as it was, the thing had its comic 
side, and while he shook hands incessantly, he as usual 
studied human character. For two mortal hours or more 
the crowd poured in and he shook hands and exchanged 
words with all, while the dapper little author of the 
scene stood smiling by, giving hundreds and thousands 
of introductions, and making, no doubt, much social 
and political capital out of his supposed intimacy with 
the great English author. This scene is substantially 
repeated in Martin Chuszlewit when his new-made 
American friends insisted upon Martin's ' holding a 
levee,' having announced without his authority, as in 
the case of Mr. Dickens, that he would receive the 
public." 

On Thursday, March 10, the day after Dickens left 
Philadelphia, the Pennsylvanian contained the follow- 
ing notice 

"Mr. Dickens left town yesterday morning for the 
south. On Tuesday, after having disengaged himself 
from the unexpected invasion of five or six hundred 
persons, he visited the Penitentiary; and having passed 
some time in a minute examination into the system 
practised there for reforming convicts, he dined with a 
small party of his Philadelphia friends, devoting the 
remainder of the evening to the enjoyment of other 



160 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

hospitalities which had been extended to him. It is to 
be regretted that his visit to Philadelphia has been so 
very brief, as this city prides herself upon her lions, 
which might perhaps have been seen quietly, affording 
an opportunity for pleasant recreation and comparative 
repose." 

On Friday, March n, the Philadelphia Gazette also 
had the following to say regarding the "lions" of the 
Capitol 

"Mr. Dickens, we rejoice to hear, has reached Wash- 
ington in safety. There are too many ' lions ' there to 
have either one of them incommoded with attention. 
He left here Tuesday morning, slipped through the 
fingers of the ready-made Committee at Baltimore, and 
that evening was quietly and comfortably lodged in the 
Metropolis. Distinction is sometimes inconvenient, and 
greatness is often the source of much trouble." 

While he was in Philadelphia, some of the "funny 
men " of the newspapers attempted either to exercise 
their wit with Dickens's hair as the subject, or else as 
a rebuke to those who were anxious to obtain one of his 
wavy locks as a memento. Here are a few of the 
attempts 

"Dickens is in danger of becoming bald, in con- 
sequence of the number of applications for a lock of his 
invaluable hair. We thought it would come to this." 
Public Ledger. 

"The Dickens he is! The matter is not so serious, 
Mr. Ledger, as you seem to imagine, when it is known 
that there is a ' Balm in Gilead,' by which he can restore 
his hair to its pristine luxuriance and beauty. Go it, 
Boz, don't be selfish, give the ladies a lock of your hair, 
and when it is all gone, rub your bald pate with Balm 
of Columbia, to be had at 71 Maiden Lane, New York, 
corner of Third and Race, and Muth and Chestnut 
Streets, Philadelphia." Spirit of the Times. 

"Mr. Dickens narrowly escaped the fate of Samson 



PHILADELPHIA 161 

the other night at a social party in this city. Groups of 
the gay and beautiful crowded around him, eyeing his 
profuse flow of ' soap locks ' with a most envious glance, 
and wishing all the while he could be thrown into a 
mesmeric sleep, that they could plunder his cranium 
of its drapery undiscovered. Not being able to furnish 
these bewitching ones with a lock of his hair, he gave 
the most of them a bit of sweet poetry, or a sentiment, 
coupled with his autograph." Philadelphia Gazette. 

"A Shocking Bad Hat. It is said at the Boz ball the 
ladies bribed some of the waiters to bring them Charles 
Dickens's hat, and that the lovely dears plucked off all 
the nap, and put it in their bosoms as a memento of the 
great author. When asked why they did so, they said 
he would not part with his hair, and they wished some- 
thing as near it as possible. When Boz saw his hat, he 
imagined it had the small-pox, by which calamity he 
accounted for the loss of the nap." Public Ledger. 

A certain Philadelphia confectioner, James Parkinson 
by name, utilized Dickens's visit to create a monumental 
tribute in sugar to the author, and incidentally to adver- 
tise the firm of Parkinson on Chestnut Street, and the 
United States Gazette published the following descrip- 
tion of this work of art 

"A Splendid Ornament. We see daily some evidence 
or other which brings the famous Boz to our mind 
something contrived as a tribute to his worth, or 
as a vehicle to display a portion of those creations 
which have given to him so great a fame. The latest 
attraction of this kind is one which has just been 
completed by Mr. James Parkinson, of the firm of 
Parkinson, in Chestnut Street, where it is now to be 
seen. It represents a temple resting on a square rocky 
base, in each of the four sides of which there is a 
deep niche. In each of the niches is displayed with 
admirable truth and effect a tableau from Boz's works. 
On the top of this base lie imitations of the volumes of 
Dickens's works, and on them rests the famous clock 

M 



162 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

of Master Humphrey, having on one side of it ' Little 
Nell ' and on the other ' The Fat Boy.' Both on the 
front and back, standing on the vase, appear ' Mr. Pick- 
wick ' and 'Samivel,' the figures modelled in sugar 
with great neatness and truth. Around the edges of the 
vase are placed twelve columns which support a flat ceil- 
ing appropriately ornamented, and from this spring a 
number of columns bearing aloft a dome of great 
beauty and lightness in its formation. The tracery of 
the upper part of the work is very rich, and altogether 
it wears a bizarre and most inviting appearance, showing 
much ingenuity and labour well applied. It is well 
worth seeing." 

Here is another bon mot from the United States 
Gazette 

"Charles Dickens. We are very happy to see him 
among our living authors, although his Nell has been 
heard of all over the country." 

Even the poets of the Quaker City invoked their 
Muses, and the following is an example of the result 

WELCOME TO Boz 
By Mrs. C. H. W. Esling 

Welcome, thrice welcome to our shores, thou champion of the poor, 
Thou faithful chronicler of woes their weary hearts endure ; 
Welcome we give thee with our hearts, our voices, and our hands. 
And claim thee as in brotherhood, among our kindred bands. 

Thy name is as a household word of most familiar tone, 
It seems amid our good, or ill, a something of our own ; 
A guide, a beacon from afar, a bright enduring ray 
To lead the meagre child of want from vicious paths away. 

How oft does pensive OLIVER at Mrs. Maylie's door, 

Arise like a reality, our thinking minds before, 

And little NELLY trudging on, unmurmuring all the while, 

Leading her blind old grandfather for many a lengthy mile. 

And poor heart-broken SMIKE, we hear his accents thin and weak, 

We mark the tear of sorrow steal adown his hollow cheek ; 

We note again his wistful gaze, with anxious watch grow dim, 

When sweet home tokens came to all, but NOTHING came to him. 



PHILADELPHIA 163 

Their figures seem to haunt our walks where'er our footsteps tread, 
Though NELLY and the blind old man are number'd with the dead, 
And SMIKE, in his own chosen spot, is slumbering in his rest, 
With the deep secret of his soul untold within his breast. 

Unweariedly we think of them, but oh ! we wish again 
To feel our bosom's pulses thrill unto another strain 
Unsatisfied with what we have, although a precious store, 
We, like thy favourite OLIVER, still yearning, "ask for more." 

U.S. Gazette, 

Tuesday, March 8, 1842. 



M2 



CHAPTER VIII 

WASHINGTON 

DICKENS left Philadelphia Wednesday morning, 
March 9, for Washington. There was no railroad at 
that time running through from Philadelphia to the 
capital, and the first part of the journey was by steam- 
boat down the Delaware River to Wilmington. Here 
the train was taken as far as the Susquehanna River to 
a point opposite Havre de Grace, Maryland, the river 
being crossed by a ferry boat, and the journey continued 
by rail. A stop for dinner was made at Baltimore, 
and Mr. Putnam relates the following incident which 
happened there 

"On reaching Baltimore the cars stopped while in the 
market-place. In a couple of minutes word had passed 
that ' Dickens was aboard the train.' Instantly the 
windows were darkened with faces, and all sorts of com- 
ments but mostly kind and respectful were made upon 
his looks and general appearance. 

"A market woman near by, seeing the crowd, came 
up close to the windows, but she could not make out 
what all the excitement was about, and calling to a friend 
who was standing by, she loudly asked, ' What's the 
matter ? What is it all about ? Say, John, what is it ? ' 
' Why,' answered the man, looking over his shoulder, 
1 they've got Boz here ! ' ' Got Boz,' said she. ' What's 
Boz? What do you mean?' 'Why,' said the man, 
' it's Dickens. They've got him here ! ' ' Well, what 
has he been doing?' said she. ' He ain't been doing 
nothin,' answered the man; ' he writes books.' ' Oh ! ' 
said the woman indignantly. ' Is that all ? What they 
should make such a row about that for, I should like 
to know ? ' ' 

164 






WASHINGTON 165 

After dinner the journey was continued by railroad, 
and Washington was reached in the evening. Mr. 
Putnam writes of the arrival at Washington as follows 

"On arriving at Washington Mr. Dickens went to his 
quarters at Willard's (Fuller's). But Willard's was not 
then the splendid hotel it now is. It was a low, two- 
storey building, with many odd additions which had 
been put up at intervals, and the rooms were small. 
But the house was well kept, and every attention was 
paid the visitors. There was a big triangle placed in 
the back-yard close to our rooms, and at all hours of the 
day and night it sent its summons to the servants. It 
was rather troublesome for a day or two, but we finally 
got used to it. Mr. Dickens had letters from distin- 
guished English and American friends to all the leading 
members of Congress and other official dignitaries, and 
in due time Webster, Calhoun, Bell of Tennessee, and 
many others called to pay their respects. Among the 
rest was the Honourable R. C., then member of the 
Senate, from Massachusetts. I had often heard his 
splendid pleading at the bar; and after he left, I said 
to Mr. Dickens, ' That, sir, is one of the most remarkable 
men in our country.' ' Good God! Mr. P.,' answered 
he, ' they are all so ! I have scarcely met a man since 
my arrival who wasn't one of the most remarkable men 
in the country ! " 

The Washington papers had less to say about Dickens 
than the Boston, New York and Philadelphia papers, 
and it will be seen that the further Dickens got away 
from those three eastern cities, the less attention the 
newspapers paid to him. On his arrival in Washington, 
the papers simply announced the fact, and the following 
from the Daily National Intelligencer of March 12 is 
given as a sample of these notices 

"Mr. Dickens, author of the admirable story of Oliver 
Twist and other of the most popular works of fiction 
known to the history of English literature, arrived in 
Washington on Wednesday last, accompanied by his 
lady, and took lodgings at Fuller's Hotel. These 



166 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

estimable strangers will remain in the city a few days, 
and then proceed south as far as Charleston." 

On Thursday, the loth, Mr. and Mrs. Dickens visited 
the Capitol, which event was chronicled in the Washing- 
ton Independent the next day as follows 

"Charles Dickens, Esq., and lady visited the Capitol 
yesterday. Mrs. Dickens remained during the greater 
part of the time in the gallery, while the distinguished 
author was introduced upon the floor of the Chamber. 
In the House, he was presented to the venerable ex- 
president, but their brief conversation was interrupted 
by those who were eager to grasp the hand that has 
penned so many admirable stories. We have under- 
stood that the reporters have it in contemplation to do 
the honours of Washington, by a dinner to Mr. Dickens. 
He was formerly, we believe, of their profession. His 
works show the minuteness of many of his descriptions, 
that he has taken down human nature in shorthand." 

If the intention of the reporters to give a dinner were 
carried out, there was no account of it in the newspapers. 
A search of the papers fails to disclose anything as to 
Dickens on Friday, but in the New York Evening Post 
of March 12 there is the following, telling of his doings 
on Saturday 

"Mr. Dickens has visited the President and the heads 
of the departments, and received the calls of a vast 
number of citizens and strangers at his lodgings. He 
has visited the Public Office to-day, the Patent Office, 
the National Institution, the new Post Office, and other 
public institutions. Monday, he is invited to a private 
dinner, with about twenty-five gentlemen, embracing 
some of the members of Congress, gentlemen of the 
press and several citizens, and from the character of the 
persons composing the party, there is no doubt it will be 
a ' feast of reason and a flow of soul.' Every person 
who becomes acquainted with him and his lady are 
pleased with them, and, we are happy to say, the people 
are not disposed to make fools of themselves, nor to 



I 



WASHINGTON 167 

inflict pain upon this intelligent and worthy stranger by 
any ostentatious parade." 

On Sunday Dickens accepted two invitations to dinner, 
one at Mr. John Quincy Adams's and the other at Mr. 
Robert Greenhow's. No newspaper accounts of these 
two affairs have been discovered, but Mr. Philip Hone, 
who was at the Adams dinner, makes the following 
reference to it in his diary, and also of the leve"e at the 
President's house on Tuesday the i5th 

"Washington, March 15. Dickens and his wife are 
here. There has not been much fuss made about him. 
They laugh at us in New York for doing too much, and 
have gone upon the other extreme. He has been invited 
to dine by several gentlemen to whom he brought letters. 
Amongst the rest, Mr. Adams invited him and his wife 
to dinner on Sunday at half-past two o'clock. (This 
early hour was fixed, I suppose, to keep up the primitive 
beauty of New England Republican habits.) Some 
clever people were invited to meet them. They came, 
he in a frock-coat, and she in her bonnet. They sat at 
table until four o'clock, when he said, ' Dear, it is time 
for us to go home and dress for dinner.' They were 
engaged to dine with Robert Greenhow, at the fashion- 
able hour of half-past five ! A most particularly funny 
idea, to leave the table of John Quincy Adams to dress 
for a dinner at Robert Greenhow's ! 

"This has been a day of great business. After our 
dinner party broke up, we went to the President's leve*e 
the last of the season, and the crowd was great. The 
east room, which is one of the most splendid I ever saw, 
was a complete jam; but considering the facility of 
access, the sort of people who do the honours and those 
who receive them, the company was highly respectable ! 
The first people in the land were there, and the women 
were well dressed. I noticed no gaucheries, no vulgar- 
ity, and I doubt if any society in any country, so organ- 
ized, could have turned out so decorous and respectable 
an assemblage. 

"Dickens was at the leve*e, and Washington Irving, 
and, so far as I could judge, Irving out-bozzed ' Boz,' 



168 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

He collected a crowd around him; the men pressed on 
to take his hand, and the women to touch the hem of his 
garment. Somebody told me that he saw a woman put 
on his hat, in order, as she told her companions, that she 
might say she had worn Washington Irving's hat. All 
this was ' fun to them,' as the frogs said, but ' death ' to 
poor Irving, who has no relish for that sort of glorifica- 
tion, and has less tact than any man living, to get along 
with it decently." 

The Washington correspondent of the Baltimore 
Patriot wrote regarding the leve"e 

"The Dickens party left last night for the South. He 
was at the President's levee on Tuesday, and, while 
there, the greatest lion at the White House. The crowd 
oppressed him with kindness and thronged him where- 
ever he moved. There was amusement and incident 
enough for a book, and if Boz does not make one of it, 
it will not be for want of a good opportunity to do so." 

On Monday was given the private dinner referred to 
above, and no newspaper account of it can be found. 
Fortunately one of the guests who attended the dinner 
kept a diary in which he recorded an account of it, which 
appears in McKenzie's Life of Charles Dickens, pub- 
lished in 1870, and from which the following is taken 

"In Washington every attention was paid to Mr. 
Dickens. The Hon. B. B. French, who resided in that 
city at the time, kept a careful diary of events, a copy 
of which has been kindly lent me by H. M. Keim, Esq., 
of Reading. From this I learn that on March 10, 1842, 
Mr. Dickens visited the House of Representatives, with 
Mr. N. P. Tallmadge of the Senate. Two days later, 
he ' was in the house ' nearly through its session. He 
was invited to a seat within the bar by some member, 
and occupied the selfsame chair in which Lord Morpeth 
sat nearly every day while he was in the city. In the 
following month (i4th) he was entertained with dinner 
at Boulanger's; Hon. John Quincy Adams and General 
Van Ness were invited guests. Hon. George M. Keim 
was president, in the room of the Hon. John Taliaferro, 




WASHINGTON FROM THE PRESIDENT S HOUSE 




THE PRESIDENT S HOUSE FROM THE RIVER 
1 68 



WASHINGTON 169 

who was expected to preside, but was unavoidably absent 
from Washington, and Hon. M. St. Clair Clarke and 
Hon. Aaron Ward were vice-presidents. The following 
persons made the party : Mr. Dickens, Mr. Adams, and 
General Van Ness as guests; General Keim, Mr. M. 
St. Clair Clarke, General Ward, Messrs. Sumpter, 
Roosevelt, Irwin, Gushing and Holmes of the House of 
Representatives; and Messrs. Kingman, F. W. Thomas 
(the author), Bache, Rice, John Tyler Jr., J. Howard 
Payne, Frailey, Keller, Dimitry, Major Harrison, 
Messrs. Samuel P. Walker, Robert N. Johnston, Sutton, 
H. G. Wheeler, Riggs and B. B. French. 

"Wit, sentiment, song-singing, story-telling and 
speech-making occupied the time till eleven, when Mr. 
Dickens arose and, in the most feelingly beautiful 
manner possible, bade us good-night. The diarist 
warmly eulogized the guest, saying, ' Dickens, by his 
modesty, his social powers and his eloquence, has added 
to the high esteem in which I was previously induced 
to hold him. I believe every person present was de- 
lighted.' Mr. Keim proposed Mr. Dickens's health in 
the following exalted terms : ' Philanthropy and Genius, 
and a representative of both, now our guest in Washing- 
ton, whom Washington himself would have rejoiced to 
welcome.' Dickens, in reply, said, ' That if this were 
a public dinner he supposed he would be expected to 
make a speech; as it was but a social party, surely no 
such effort would be expected of him ; and when he 
looked about the table and saw gentlemen whose posi- 
tions in public life rendered it unavoidable that they 
should either speak themselves or listen to the speeches 
of others every day, his refraining upon this occasion 
must be far more acceptable, and surely possess more 
novelty than any remarks he might make and he must 
be allowed to presume that here, in the enjoyment of 
the social hour, they will be happy to give their ears 
some rest, and he should, therefore, consider himself 
relieved from making a speech. He would, however, 
say that, like the Prince in the Arabian Tales, he had 
been doomed, since he arrived in this hospitable country, 
to make new friendships every night, and cut their heads 



170 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

off on the following morning. But the recollection of 
this night, wherever he might go, should accompany 
him, and, like the bright smiles of his better angel, be 
treasured in his mind as long as memory remains.' 

"Among the subsequent toasts were 'The Health of 
John Quincy Adams,' ' The City of Boston ' and 'The 
Old Curiosity Shop ' among whose notions were the 
oldest wine, the newest wit, and the best cradle in the 
United States. After the evidence our guest had of the 
goodness of the former, we hope and trust they will give 
him the benefit of the latter.' After ' The Queen of 
Great Britain ' had been drunk standing, Mr. Dickens 
said : ' Allow me to assume the character of Mr. Pick- 
wick, and in that character to give you ' The President 
of the United States,' which was also drunk standing. 
By this time the company had apparently reached a, 
period of very pleasurable enjoyment, for after Mr. Caleb 
Gushing had responded to ' Our Country and our Guest 
both in the first vigour of their youth, and both made 
great by the might of mind,' he proposed ' The Health of 
Mr. Pickwick.' At eleven o'clock Mr. Dickens arose 
and said, ' I rise to propose to you one more sentiment ; 
it must be my last; it consists of two words "Good 
Night." Since I have been seated at this table I have 
received the welcome intelligence that the news from the 
dear ones has come at last that the long-expected letters 
have arrived. Among them are certain scrawls from 
little beings across the ocean, of great interest to me, 
and I thought of them for many days past in connection 
with drowned men and a noble ship, broken up and 
lying in fragments upon the bottom of the ocean. But 
they are here, and you will appreciate the anxiety I feel 
to read them. Permit me, in allusion to some remarks 
made by a gentleman near me, to say that every effort 
of my pen has been intended to elevate the masses of 
society, to give them the station they deserve among 
mankind. With that intention I commenced writing, 
and I assure you as long as I write at all, that shall be 
the principal motive of my efforts. Gentlemen, since 
I arrived on your hospitable shore, and in my flight 
over your land, you have given me everything I can ask 






WASHINGTON 171 

but time that you cannot give me, and you are aware 
that I must devote some of it to myself; therefore, with 
the assurance that this has been the most pleasant even- 
ing I have passed in the United States, I must bid you 
farewell, and once more repeat the words good night ! ' 
"The guest was not to be let off without a parting 
bumper, on Sheridan's plan 

' Let the toast pass, 
Drink to the lass, 
I'll warrant 'twill prove an excuse for a glass.' 

For Mr. St. Clair Clarke proposed ' Mrs. Dickens : May 
her stay amongst us be pleasant ; may her return voyage 
be comfortable, and, when she reaches home, may she 
find her little ones as healthy as they surely will be 
happy.' ' 

None of the Washington newspapers contained any 
account of Dickens's reception at the President's leve"e 
on Tuesday the i5th, but a correspondent of the New 
York Express thus refers to some of the incidents 
connected with it 

" ' The last leve"e of the season, held by President 
Tyler, was on the evening of Tuesday, the i5th instant. 

" ' The City and District seemed to have turned out 
en masse at this last gathering of trie People at the Presi- 
dent's house. They came literally in clouds and in all 
the various forms and shapes of the seven classes, now 
dancing in like a lock of hair, or a feather, as a cirrus 
cloud, worn like the cumulus in conical round heaps, 
and now like the seventh class spreading out and run- 
ning down. There were children in their nurses' arms, 
and overgrown and over-aged children, a good many 
years beyond second childhood. They run from the knee- 
heigh to a grass-hopper of early infancy, to long Jim 
Wilson of the Granite Hills that was, and the Surveyor- 
General of Iowa that is. It was in the way of ascent and 
descent of persons you might count somewhere from 
seven inches to six feet seven inches, more or less. 



172 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

" ' And then for dressing ! Goddess of fashion, what 
a figure do some of your votaries cut? An old woman 
just three steps from the grave, decked out in all the 
finery and gewgaw of her granddaughter. A grand- 
mother with nineteen children (the grandchildren in- 
cluded) carrying as much sail as might interpret the 
feminine gender of a ship at sea with quite tourneau 
enough to make ballast for a ship of almost any size, 
from a shallop to a seventy-four. Have you 'not heard 
of a man mad enough to curse his grandmother ? 

" ' Such an unfilial act must have been where a very 
sensible grandmother, in some strange freak or other, 
metamorphosed herself from a sensible woman into a 
fool. Fools or not, there was much foolish dressing 
among the crowd, and not altogether confined to the old 
women. There was no lack of cast, colour or shape. 

" Black spirits and white, 
Red spirits and gray," 

mingled in strange and odd confusion, everything 
in a word among the men, from muddy boots, holey 
coats and unshaven faces, to that pink of society, pro- 
priety, and sometimes foppishness seen in your kid 
gloves, oily hair and scented pocket-handkerchief. And 
then for the women, Heaven bless them all, they came 
sometimes like the graces, clothed in fleecy clouds and 
gauze veils, too spiritual, it seemed, to be touched, and 
sometimes, again, like so many patterns fresh from the 
quay of the street; some were bonneted, booted and 
spurred, it seemed, and some, again, like the witches of 
Macbeth 

"fEye of newt, and toe of frog, 
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog, 
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting, 
Lizard's leg, and owlet's wing." 

" ' The greatest lion among the men was Boz, the 
never-ending Boz. He made his appearance between 
nine and ten, and the fifteen hundred or two thousand 
people present went in pursuit of him like hounds, 
horses and riders in pursuit of a fox in the chase. It 







JOHN TYLER 

President of the United States, 1842 



172 



WASHINGTON 173 

was in this trying time that brawny arms, robustious 
waists and good understandings accomplished valorous 
feats. Alas for the weak, the modest and timid I Alas, 
too, for laces and silks, head-dresses, satin shoes, 
jewellery and alabaster necks. The pillory or the stocks 
would have been a heaven upon earth. "Where is 
Boz ? " says one. " Where ? " "There ! " and a sea of 
heads appearing like the waves dancing in the river at 
the incoming of the tide are seen, staring poor Boz out 
of countenance. He is encompassed and as immovable 
as the men, and the crowd in sort of a funeral march 
revolve around him, reflecting some of the brightness 
in a smile or a word of their adored author. The Peru- 
vians never worshipped the bright "god of day" with 
more fervour than the people did this bright emanation 
of that genius and truth which, after all, is from above, 
and for the possession of which so much more is due to 
the Creator than the creature; one could not but pity 
Boz with a full heart. There he stood like patience on 
a monument, and literally "smiling at grief." 

" ' Almost every countenance was a rueful one, because 
in the general press almost every one was kept in a most 
inconvenient and respectful distance. The people gazed, 
stared, opened their mouths, stretched their necks until 
the cords of their necks cracked and the limbs were 
extended to their utmost tension. This fever was kept 
up for some thirty or forty minutes, until Boz turned 
upon his heels to get rid of his two thousand good- 
natured American friends who had taken the President's 
house by storm. And there was no peace. Wherever 
he moved, it was like throwing corn among hungry 
chickens. They flocked around him here until he took 
leave of the President. He was then pursued to the 
dressing-room, and finally to his carriage, and probably 
to his house and chamber. In the general admiration, 
too, it is presumed that he found some dozen or two 
under his bed, in his bedroom closet, and perhaps, un- 
consciously, a bed-fellow with him. Well, "Hurrah for 
Boz," and "Hurrah for the Americans." 

" ' They who have seen him, of course, never will be 
smitten with blindness and if any of the thousands 






174 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

who have run and jumped, screamed and halloed to see 
Boz should find themselves in print after the fashion and 
skill of Squeers and Squeers's accomplished school and 
family, for example, why, they must not complain. 

" ' " Madame Boz " was the next of the lions most 
gazed at in the general menagerie. An honourable 
M.C. played the agreeable, and the crowd spared the 
better half to gaze upon the great lion. 

'"Washington Irving, the new Minister to Spain, 
who is here to receive his instructions, was turned upon 
next. The poor man placed himself somewhere in the 
East room, and the multitude came upon him like the 
billows of the ocean ; first a crowd of women and then a 
crowd of men, some eager to take the author of The 
Broken Heart by the hand, and others content with a 
good stare, either with the naked eye or by the agency 
of a quizzing-glass. The squeeze around Mr. Irving 
for a half-hour was tremendous, and the people, having 
satisfied themselves here, turned their attention to new 
objects. 

" ' The President's Cabinet, Foreign Ministers, some 
of the tarrying judges of the Supreme Court, a sprink- 
ling of Senators, two or three scores of representatives, 
fifteen hundred men, women and children, in every 
costume, and from every nook and corner of the country, 
made up the remainder of the medley. It was one to 
please everybody who could be pleased with a sight of 
the world at a focus. You might see it face to face, or 
at least through a glass darkly, and to add interest to 
the general variety, there was the Marine Band dis- 
coursing sweet music for the evening. The President, 
who keeps an open heart as well as an open house, found 
himself upon this occasion surrounded by troops of 
friends; but, after all, one could realize, in the labour 
and honour of office, the truth of the maxim 

" Untried, how sweet a court attendance : 
When tried, how dreadful the dependence." ' " 

Dickens left Washington for Richmond on Wednes- 
day, March 16, and on Friday, the i8th, the Daily 
National Intelligencer of Washington contained the 
following reference to his departure 



WASHINGTON 175 

"Mr. and Mrs. Dickens left the city on Wednesday 
evening for Richmond, in continuation of their tour 
through a portion of the Union. They proceed from 
Richmond to Norfolk, thence up the Chesapeake Bay 
to Baltimore, whence they proceed by the Pennsylvania 
route to Pittsburgh and the Western States. During 
their short stay with us these interesting strangers have 
conciliated the warmest personal esteem by their frank 
and amiable deportment and the cordiality with which 
they received and appreciated the respectful attentions 
so extensively shown them by the inhabitants, resident 
and transient, of this city. We are requested by a friend 
to state that it was a source of much regret to them that 
their brief sojourn placed it out of their power to manifest 
their sense of these civilities, at least so far as returning 
the very numerous calls which they received during the 
few days they spent here. We are also requested to 
state that, as the arrangements of Mr. D. for his de- 
parture on Wednesday evening would have prevented 
his attending the theatre, the annunciation that he would 
do so was made without his authority." 

The Editor of the Intelligencer was Mr. W. W. 
Seaton, and the latter part of this notice was written 
by reason of a request made by Mr. Dickens to Mr. 
Seaton in the following letter 

Washington, March 16, 1842. 

MY DEAR SIR, 

I am truly obliged to you for your kind note. I 
am so constantly engaged, however, that I think I must 
deny myself the pleasure of making an appointment with 
you, which I could scarcely keep without making a most 
uncomfortable scramble of it. I will report my know- 
ledge of the lions to you, and you shall judge how I 
have been show-done. 

In case I should forget it when we meet to-night, may 
I venture to ask two favours of you or rather one favour 
with two heads? 

It is that you will kindly (if you see no objection) let 



176 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

my friends here know through the channel which is 
open to you, and over which you so ably preside, that 
whenever I make an appointment I keep it; and that it 
gives me great uneasiness to be placarded all over the 
town as intending to make a visit to the theatre, when 
I have given no authority to any person to publish such 
an announcement; and secondly, that, travelling as we 
do, we can never return the calls of our friends, in conse- 
quence of their immense number, and our very limited 
stay in any one place. 

Let me take this opportunity of thanking you for the 
exceedingly kind attention I have received at your hands, 
and the pleasure I have enjoyed in your society and in 
that of your family. I need scarcely say that Mrs. 
Dickens desires me to say as much for her. 

I am, my dear sir, with true regards, 
Faithfully yours, 

CHARLES DICKENS. 

Mr. W. W. Seaton. 



CHAPTER IX 

RICHMOND, BALTIMORE AND HARRISBURG 

DICKENS left Washington on Thursday, March 16, 
at four o'clock in the morning, having gone aboard the 
steamer the night before. He arrived at Richmond in 
the evening. He has given in American Notes a full 
account of the journey, but in the following, Mr. 
Putnam relates some instances that Dickens does not 
mention 

"Leaving Washington, Mr. Dickens took the steamer 
down the Potomac to Potomac Creek. He rose early in 
the morning to get a glimpse of Mount Vernon, for he 
cherished a profound respect for the great man who lies 
buried there. On arriving at Potomac Creek we found 
stages to take us to Fredericksburg, Virginia, and as 
usual Mr. Dickens secured his favourite seat on the box 
beside the driver. This ride and the negro drivers of the 
seven coaches is most graphically described in his Notes. 
The roads were bad past all description, and seemed to 
be impassable, but the negro drivers possessed great skill 
and drove through without accident. 

"At Fredericksburg we took the cars for Richmond. 
After travelling a while we came to a very lonely and 
dismal-looking country. We passed plantations long 
ago deserted, the houses and barns rotting down, and 
the ground as barren of soil as a New England street. 
A gentleman told me that the vast pine barrens, stretch- 
ing miles away, through which we were occasionally 
passing, were, years ago, the same as these barren fields, 
for only pines of the most meagre growth could grow on 
this slavery-cursed soil. I called the attention of Mr. 
Dickens to the sterility and ruin all around us, and he 
seemed astounded at the fact that the land was once fertile, 

N 177 



178 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

and the very ' garden of America ' ! Turning to his 
wife, he exclaimed, ' Great God ! Kate, just hear what 
Mr. P. says ! These lands were once cultivated, and 
have been abandoned because worn out by slave labour ! ' 
At sight of this widespread desolation his already deep 
detestation of slavery became intensified. 

"An incident upon the road added, if possible, to this 
feeling. Stopping at a lonely station in the forest for 
food and water, we noticed a coloured woman with 
several small children standing by, who seemed to be 
waiting for passage. After a little time we heard the 
woman and children weeping, and some one in the car 
asked the cause. A bluff, well-dressed man near us 

answered: 'It's them d d niggers; somebody has 

bought them and is taking them down to Richmond, and 
they are making a fuss about it.' 

"Dickens heard the answer, and what impression this 
separation of families made upon the mind of one who 
loved so well the freedom and happiness of all human 
beings may be imagined. 

"At Richmond Mr. Dickens took rooms at the 'Ex- 
change.' Here, as elsewhere, large numbers of the most 
prominent people called upon him, and a dinner was 
given in his honour. Here, too, he visited the tobacco 
factories, and saw ' the happy slaves singing at their 
work.' But it was a useless task to attempt to blind the 
eyes or corrupt the heart of this friend of humanity. All 
that was praiseworthy in our people and their institutions 
he praised without stint; but he would not endorse any 
wrong, especially that of slavery." 

The morning after his arrival the Richmond Enquirer 
contained the following mention of his arrival 

"Mr. Dickens at Richmond. Mr. Charles Dickens 
and lady reached Richmond Thursday evening on the 
cars from Washington, and will remain with us till 
Sunday morning, when he is compelled to return to 
Baltimore. Thence he will go to Pittsburgh and the 
north-western section of the United States. He has not 
time to visit Charleston at the farther south. He will 
return to England early in June after visiting the Cataract 




RICHMOND, VA. 




EXCHANGE HOTEL, RICHMOND, VA. 

I 7 8 



RICHMOND 179 

of Niagara, Canada, etc. Some of his friends met him 
last night at a petite supper, got up by our friend Boyden 
of the ' Exchange.' ' 

The supper at the ' Exchange ' seemed to have caused 
some dissatisfaction amongst those who were not for- 
tunate enough to be bidden to the feast, and the dissatis- 
faction was voiced through the Richmond Star, for on 
March 22 the Enquirer contained the following article 
explaining how the affair came to be arranged 

"The Star of yesterday morning, speaking of the Boz 
Petite Souper, says that ' a subscription was soon 
circulated among a select few, who, for some reason 
unknown to us, thus assumed the honour of representing 
the citizens of Richmond.' We hasten to correct this 
impression, as we do not wish the slightest trace of ill- 
feeling to be left from C. Dickens's visit to this city. 
The fact was that the gentleman who first waited upon 
him had been some time before selected by a meeting 
of their fellow-citizens to correspond with him and invite 
him to a public dinner. He had refused the dinner, and 
he now wished also to decline a supper, until he was told, 
as the Star states, that ' there were several gentlemen of 
Richmond who would be proud happy was the word 
to meet him at a social supper that evening.' When he 
had thus accepted, there was scarcely time to get up a 
supper (and no one but ' Mine Host of the Exchange ' 
could have done it in such quick time) and to bid in the 
guests. 

"The subscription was not confined ' to a select few,' 
for it was intended and desired that all who pleased 
should participate in its pleasures. Scarcely any other 
magician than Boz (whose readers are found everywhere) 
could get together so many guests in so short a time." 

The same issue of the Enquirer contained another 
article in which the writer expresses his opinion on 
Dickens's personality, and also a brief account of the 
supper, with a promise of a further account on Thursday 

"Mr, Charles Dickens left us on Sunday morning, 
with his lady, who received many visits from the ladies 

N 2 



180 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

of this city on Saturday. He had made an engagement 
to be in Baltimore yesterday. Thence, he proceeds to 
Pittsburgh, to Cincinnati, and down the Ohio to St. 
Louis. He will return by the Lakes, and expects to 
devote a week to the Cataract of Niagara. As the corre- 
spondent of the New York Herald says, ' he will then 
visit the Canadas, and return to New York, whence he 
will sail on June 7, to return to ' merrie England,' 
and publish the first number of his new work on the ist 
of November. Wherever he travels, he multiplies by 
masses the host of his personal friends, where before he 
was cherished fondly for the pure fictions of his mind's 
creation alone." 

Mr. Dickens's visit to this city has produced precisely 
that impression. He is very young for the great fame 
which he has already won only thirty years and six 
weeks old is a man of decided and varied talents full 
of wit and humour, with much good sense and much 
practical knowledge of the world, with manners of the 
most cordial sort; his heart in his hand. We have no 
doubt his visit was as agreeable to himself as it was to 
the citizens of Richmond. The supper Friday night was 
unique. In eight hours' time, about one hundred gentle- 
men came together to pay their tribute to Dickens. 
There was no labour of preparation in getting up the 
Attic feast. The impulse of their feelings superseded 
any such necessity. Many of the members of the Legis- 
lature co-operated with the citizens of the town, and con- 
tributed to the wit and joy of the evening. Boz was in 
his happiest humour. But this fairy scene has vanished 
like a dream, leaving behind it traces of light and ' plea- 
sures of memory that can never fade away. The rose 
has crumbled to pieces, but the perfume of the scattered 
leaves still remains.' We have no room for further par- 
ticulars to-day. We may be indebted to a friend who 
took some notes of the first two speeches for a com- 
munication, embracing some short sketches of the bril- 
liant scene. We may give this rapid delineation on 
Thursday; but as all the toasts, speeches, etc., were 
entirely improvisatore, we shall lose many good things, 




RICHMOND 181 

unless the gentlemen who gave the toasts, etc., will be 
kind enough to put them on paper, and leave them with 
us for the use of our correspondent. We shall publish 
what we can save from the wreck of the evening. " 

On Thursday the Enquirer published the further 
account of the supper which is given below in full. It 
contains a speech by Dickens which is not included 
in the published volume of his speeches. It will be seen 
that Mr. Ritchie, who presided at the supper, took much 
pride in the fact that their reception of the guest was on 
a more simple scale than those given in Boston and New 
York. 

"CHARLES DICKENS 

"The citizens of Richmond well recollect the sensation 
which was produced among them by the arrival of 
Charles Dickens on Thursday last. Every one seemed 
disposed to greet him with that cordiality which is so 
justly the pride of Virginians. It was well known, how- 
ever, that he had declined receiving any more public 
manifestations of welcome during his sojourn in this 
country. On Friday, several of our citizens called on 
him to tender the hospitalities of the place to himself and 
lady. Among them were gentlemen who had been ap- 
pointed by a prior meeting of the citizens to invite him 
to a public dinner, which he had declined in a corre- 
spondence already laid before the public. They now 
express to him the gratification which they would receive 
by meeting him at some festive entertainment, and he 
finally agreed to meet a few of his friends at a social 
supper that night at the Exchange Hotel, which was his 
headquarters during his sojourn in Richmond. Boyden 
was then placed in requisition and put his trumps to get 
up an entertainment which was worthy the man and the 
occasion. The appointed hour soon arrived (for it was 
past midday when the petite souper was first suggested), 
and about ninety gentlemen assembled to meet their 
guest. 

"An hour or more was spent in conversation with each 
other and with Mr. Dickens, whose manners were open 



182 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

and frank, and whose kind-hearted simplicity won for 
him the favour of all with whom he conversed. The 
company proceeded from the drawing-room to the supper- 
room, and then partook of the elegant and recherche 
entertainment which had been prepared for them. Mr. 
Thomas Ritchie presided, assisted by Mr. James Lyons, 
General Pogram, Messrs. Faulkner and Carter and 
Preston (of the Senate of Virginia), as Vice-Presidents of 
the evening. The table was laid out with one broad stem, 
running across the room, from which diverged three 
parallel tables. The President occupied the middle of 
the cross-table, with Mr. Dickens to his right hand, 
and Acting-Governor Rutherford to his left, Vice-Presi- 
dent Lyons facing him at the extreme end of the centre 
table, and the other Vice-Presidents at the heads of their 
respective departments. 

" After the viands and substantiate had been pretty well 
cleared off, the President of the night called upon the 
company to charge their glasses. He had a sentiment 
to offer them. He thanked the company for the honour 
they had done him by calling him to preside at such an 
entertainment, but never was a man put at the head of 
a firm with less corporate stock-in-trade than he was. 
No plan, no organization, not a regular toast prepared, 
not a set speech cut and dry. But he found some con- 
solation in the capacities of the individual partners of 
the firm. When he looked around him, when he saw 
the hearts and heads of those who compose the associa- 
tion, he had no fear about all of the drafts he should 
draw upon them being duly honoured. He would, there- 
fore, give his own sentiment, and put the ball in motion. 
Let it roll on, and let the good things go around the 
table. In this way we might crown our flowing cups 
with flowers, and the circling hours might glide on, 
gladdening and rejoicing, until after midnight. 

" Never, indeed, had there been so little labour and so 
little preparation made in getting up an entertainment. 
It was scarcely six hours since the note was sounded in 
our streets that Dickens was to be at home to-night 
scarcely six hours since the Fiery Cross was passed from 
hand to hand. But no labour was necessary to carry out 






RICHMOND 183 

the good work. The impulse of our feelings had super- 
seded all such necessity, and the name of the magician 
who had brought us together had done the rest. And 
now behold the effect ! Let this respectable company, 
brought together in so brief a space of time, speak the 
high compliment which could be paid to Mr. Dickens. 
Scarcely had that Fiery Cross been put in motion, when 
the clans of Roderick Dhu rush in such goodly numbers 
to the field, not to meet an enemy, but to meet a friend. 
" We did not come here to welcome our guest after the 
fashion of our Northern brethren. We had no elaborate 
magnificence, no eclat, no elegant tableau to greet him, 
as those with which Boston and New York had received 
him. We bring around him no boast of literary circle. 
We have no Washington Irving to grace the chair; we 
have no Bryant present to celebrate his praises in 
rapturous strain. The literature of the Old Dominion 
was generally of another character, with some brilliant 
literary exceptions. Her forte was to be found in the 
masculine production of her statesmen, her Washington, 
her Jefferson, and her Madison, who had never indulged 
in works of imagination, in the charms of romance, and 
in the mere beauties of the belles lettres. ( But,' con- 
tinued the President, ' we have something else to offer 
to our guest. We may vie even with Boston and New 
York in the warmth of our welcome. The sons of the 
sunny South have warm hearts and a cordial reception 
to give the man whom they admire, and who is there 
more entitled to our thanks for his literary labours 
than Charles Dickens ? Has he not run up a debt 
with us all, and which we are all anxious to pay ? 
Is there one among you whose saddest hours have 
not been soothed by the productions of 'his pencil ? 
Is there one amongst you whose lightest hours have 
not still been more lightened by the emanations of 
his genius? Is there a man here to-night whose sensi- 
bilities have not been melted into tears by the pathos of 
the Curiosity Shop ? or who has not been excited into 
laughter by the humours of the Pickwick Club ? The 
works of Boz are our constant companions. We take 
him to our sick bed to cheer us; to our most private hours 



184 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

to amuse and comfort us. But,' said the President, 
' there is one charm in the writings of our guest to which 
I delight to do justice. Mr. Dickens has passed over 
the great, the glaring, the magnificent, in order to bring 
out humble worth and unpretending merit. He has 
sought the violet in its lowly bed, to give its perfume 
to the light of day. He is no Troubadour, to sing 
the warlike achievements of Knights ; no Poet Laureate, 
to celebrate the praises of Kings, Princes and the titled 
great. His excursive imagination had wandered over 
the whole surface of human nature, and instead of invest- 
ing wealth or power with additional attractions, it had 
seized upon the humble points in the human landscape, 
had lighted them up with all the fire of his genius, and 
given them that conspicuous position to which they were 
entitled. He had caused us to feel for the humblest not 
less than for the highest, and all to feel for all for the 
youthful tenant of the workhouse and for the poor and 
pious Nell that enchanting picture, or whose delicate 
touches we are so indebted to the imagination of the 
writer. This is one of the charms of his productions, 
that it creates in us all a sympathy for each other a 
participation in the interests of our common humanity, 
which constitutes the great bond of equality, and the 
best basis for a free form of government. It is impos- 
sible for us not to feel respect for such a man, and not 
to welcome him in the bosom of our society. Let us not 
forget, too, how much we are deeply indebted to that 
"miraculous organ " the Press for the communication of 
these pleasures. No sooner is thought conceived and 
transferred to Mr. Dickens's paper from his brain, in his 
solitary chamber in distant England, than it is trans- 
mitted by the Press, across the broad Atlantic, with the 
rapidity of electricity. 

" ' It was the Press which made us first acquainted with 
Mr. Dickens. And now we have him in our midst 
shall we not welcome him tender him the hospitali- 
ties of the Old Dominion, and give him a cordial recep- 
tion in this city? But will Mr. D. excuse me for 
turning my address for a moment to a graver theme ? I 
am an older soldier,' said the President, ' than he is, 



RICHMOND 185 

certainly not a better. And it is one of the maxims I 
have gathered from my own experience, one of the 
wisest, though paradoxical, lessons which should be 
learned both by men and by states, that it is infinitely 
harder to bear prosperity than adversity. I will not go 
into its philosophy, nor into the thousands of illustra- 
tions of which it is susceptible. It was the neglect of 
this principle which had prostrated the first genius of 
the age, Bonaparte, who had never found the word 
"impossibility" written in his dictionary, but who had 
his head so much turned by his successes that he braved 
the rigours of a Russian climate, and then perished, a 
victim of his folly, on the rock of St. Helena. The 
Romans were so sensible of this truth that, in the midst 
of their triumphant processions, they stationed in the car 
of the conqueror a monitor, whose business it was to 
remind him of the vanity of life and the mutability of all 
human fortunes. Nothing is better calculated to affect 
us than the early possession of the most brilliant fame. 
I beg my friend, therefore,' said the President, ' to excuse 
this digression, and to recollect that, though he has 
already done much, it is no reason why he should not do 
a great deal more for us. Young as you are, you have 
won a proud distinction in the Temple of Fame. I pray 
you not to let your success turn your head or paralyse 
your pen. But enough ! It is my duty as well as my 
pleasure now to greet you as you deserve, and may I not 
(addressing the company) in your name and with all 
your hearts, extend to him the right hand of fellowship 
(grasping his hand)? (Cheers.) And now,' said the 
President, ' I propose the following sentiment 

"' Charles Dickens, the Literary Guest of the Nation: 
We welcome him to the hearths and hearts of the Old 
Dominion.' 

"After the cheering which followed the annunciation 
of the President's toast had subsided, Mr. Dickens arose, 
and was greeted with renewed tokens of applause and 
welcome. 

"He said : ' Mr. President and Gentlemen, I am most 




186 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

truly grateful and obliged to you for the kind welcome 
which you have given me. I receive and acknowledge 
with gratitude this testimonial of your kindly feelings 
towards me. If it were possible to convey to you my 
sense and appreciation of your favours, I would indeed 
acknowledge as I receive your good wishes an hundred- 
fold. But, as I said at a social party a few nights since 
at Washington a party somewhat similar to this it is 
my misfortune to be passing through this country with 
almost as rapid a flight as that of any bird of the air 
the American eagle excepted. (Cheers.) I find, in 
my career amongst you, no little resemblance to that far- 
famed Sultan of the thousand-and-one nights, who was 
in the habit of acquiring a new friend every night and 
cutting his head off in the morning. I find another 
resemblance to what we read in the history of that 
Sultan. He was diverted from his bad habit by listening 
to the tales of one who proved a favourite above all the 
rest, so I am stopped in my original intention by the 
hospitalities of the Americans. (Cheers.) 

" ' I say that the best flag of truce between two nations 
having the same common origin and speaking the same 
language is a fair sheet of white paper inscribed with the 
literature of each. (Cheers.) If, hereafter, I think of 
this night, if I remember the welcome which you have 
assured me, believe me, my small corner, my humble 
portion of that fair sheet shall be inscribed with the hos- 
pitalities I have received of the friends I have seen and 
made here. (Cheers.) It has been said, gentlemen, 
that an after-dinner speech may be too long. (Laughter.) 
If so, it may be said, with more truth, that an after- 
supper speech cannot be too short (laughter) and 
especially to those with whom to listen to a speech is no 
novelty (laughter) and among whom a man of few 
words is a rare and almost "literary phenomenon." 
(Great laughter and cheering.) I therefore deem it only 
necessary to say to you that I am almost deeply and 
sincerely obliged to you for your kindness. (Cries of 
"Goon.") 

'"In reference to the admonition tendered to me by my 
worthy friend, your President, I will say that it has long 



RICHMOND 187 

been a thing near my heart. But I hope that I shall 
never need the monitor of which he reminds us. My 
situation forbids all paralysis of my pen as I hope you 
will discover from November next, when I shall resume 
my literary labours. The hospitalities of America can 
never be forgotten among them. Your kindness, cer- 
tainly, never. 

" ' Imagine me thinking of you to-morrow ; imagine me 
on the railroad to Fredericksburg on that Virginia road 
from Fredericksburg to the Potomac.' (Here the 
laughter and cheering was overpowering. The Presi- 
dent exclaimed, ' No more of that, Hal, an you love 
me.') ' In fact, throughout all my travels in these parts 
I shall think of the pleasure I have enjoyed in the bosom 
of your society.' (Great cheering.) 

" In answer to the call upon him, Mr. Lyons (First Vice- 
President) said that he rose with reluctance to utter a 
single word after the excellent addresses which had just 
been delivered by our distinguished guest and the vener- 
able President of this meeting. But participating deeply, 
as Mr. L. did, in the general feeling of gratification 
experienced by all here at the presence among us of one 
who, distinguished as he was when he touched our 
shores, had added a new claim to our respect and admira- 
tion by the modesty with which he wore his honours, 
his gentlemanly demeanour and social temper, he could 
not refrain from expressing that feeling. He hoped to 
be pardoned for adding that he differed from the Presi- 
dent in one sentiment uttered by him in his address, and 
he felt that he did not disparage that address when he 
said there was one sentiment in it from which he dis- 
sented. The President had said we could not vie with 
our Northern brethren in the offering which we could 
make to our guest that we had not the large room, the 
splendid edifices and public shows, to exhibit, which 
they had, nor had we the means of gorgeous entertain- 
ment or literary treasures which they have. But we 
offer to our guest the highest tribute it is no tribute to 
rank or title to place or wealth but the free homage 
which hearts that never bent to power pay to genius ; and 
we offer him what we in Virginia, at least, regard as 




188 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

equal to any other offering to a friend a hearty Vir- 
ginian welcome. Having said thus much, Mr. Lyons 
would, in the spirit of the address (from Mr. Dickens) 
to which he listened with so much pleasure, conclude by 
offering 

" ' England and America, bound together by kindred 
ties: May all their controversies be conducted in the 
true "Pickwickian " spirit.' (Laughter and cheers.) 

"General Pogram (being called on by the Chair) gave 
a toast, with the usual happy vein of his remarks. But, 
unfortunately, the General is now absent, and neither 
the toast nor the speech can be given in detail. The 
President having called upon Mr. Faulkner, Third Vice- 
President, for a toast and a speech, Mr. Faulkner said 
he would discharge the duty which devolved upon his 
end of the table by complying with the call so far as to 
give an unpremeditated sentiment; a speech he must 
decline. He came there to give himself up to the full 
enjoyment of the evening to see, to hear, to catch the 
accents of that youthful genius whose fame already fills 
the world. The bare idea of making a speech would 
drive back the genial current of his feelings to their foun- 
tain cells. It would make him think of the Senate 
Chamber or the bar and bring up reflections which it was 
his purpose to bury for a few brief hours. He could not, 
besides, so soon forget the admonition which our 
honoured guest had just given us upon the subject of 
1 after supper ' speeches. The sentiment which had 
occurred to him was one suggested by the position which 
the worthy President himself held, and by the inimitable 
life and spirit with which he discharged the duties of the 
Chair to the honoured individual on his right 

"'Our distinguished Guest: His reception in this 
country shows that there is at least one kind of aristo- 
cracy to which the sternest Republicans are proud to 
pay the homage of their hearts the aristocracy of genius 
and worth.' 

"Mr. Vice-President Carter being called on by the 
Chair, gave the following toast 



RICHMOND 189 

" ' England and America the parent and child the 
home of DICKENS and IRVING : May their future contests 
be in literature and not in arms.' 

"Mr. Vice-President Preston, being called on by the 
Chair, gave the following toast 

" ' The knowledge of mankind of the springs of 
human action, and the power to portray them, proclaims 
their possessor a nobleman everywhere.' 

"The ball was now fairly set in motion, and sentiment 
followed sentiment, or, as the President said, ' The good 
things went around.' Scarcely a character among 
those depicted by ' Boz ' was left unnoticed, from old 
Mr. Pickwick down to Little Nell. Presently one of the 
company arose and proposed the health of that part of 
Mr. D.'s family who were on the other side of the 
Atlantic. He proposed the three young ones who bore 
the name of our guest. In this he was corrected : 
' Four,' said a near neighbour. An amusing dispute 
arose as to whether there were three or four. This was, 
however, decided by an official annunciation from the 
Chair that there were four. Accordingly, the company 
most cordially drank the health and prosperity of the 
four little Dickenses over the water. 

"The passes of wit and sentiment between Boz and all 
who sat within conversational distance from him were 
frequent throughout the evening. The company were 
all previously assured of the power of pleasing possessed 
by their guest through the pen ; but they did not know, 
until this occasion, that he could be so happy in the use 
of the living faculty of speech. The sallies between him- 
self and the President were constant and amusing. In 
one instance, when the latter complimented a character 
in the Curiosity Shop, Mr. D. retorted by denominating 
him a living ' curiosity.' In a few remarks addressed 
to the whole audience, he spoke with enthusiasm and 
delight, and with many humorous strokes, of his having 
met with a man who had gone through so many labours 
and yet preserved such a green heart, with all the 
freshness and sprightliness of a boy. 

"But it is impossible for me to present the whole 






190 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

tableaux to your readers. ' The fairy scene has van- 
ished ; ' but we cannot say it has not ' left a wrack 
behind ' it. It will not be easy for any one who was 
present to forget all that has passed. But one thing is 
indeed a subject of regret that so many good things 
were said by the company at large which are lost to the 
public; that the toasts were improvisatore, and not 
written or taken down ; that some very happy but short 
addresses are to be lost in oblivion for want of a his- 
torian. We lament that the modesty of gentlemen 
should have prevented their handing in their toasts, as 
was requested in this paper, and none are given except 
the toasts of the presiding officers. We shall have other 
and joyous feasts in this good city, but no literary guest 
can be more warmly received than has been perhaps the 
most popular author of the day. 

" It was an Attic supper, which no one present will be 
apt to forget. 

"One of the last sentiments drunk produced great 
enthusiasm. It was in these words 

"'Charles Dickens, the Artful Dodger: He has 
dodged Philadelphia and Baltimore, but he could not 
dodge the Old Dominion.' ' 

Mr. Gales Seaton, son of Mr. W. Seaton, editor of 
the National Intelligencer of Washington, happened to 
be in Richmond at the time of the Dickens visit. He 
wrote his father a very interesting letter relating to his 
own experiences with, and his personal opinions of, 
Dickens, and the letter is copied in full from William 
Winston Seaton: a Biographical Sketch 

"... I wrote a hurried note last night, to advise you 
that Mr. and Mrs. Dickens proposed going to Wash- 
ington this morning, a delay in the departure of the boat 
to Norfolk preventing their reaching Baltimore as soon 
as desired; so they go no farther south. I was amused 
at the earnestness with w r hich he asked me if I was sure 
St. Louis is farther north than Charleston. 

"C.'s letter reached me too late to allow me to comply 
with your wishes ; and though I should, of course, have 
attended to your behests, it would have placed me more 






RICHMOND 191 

in the attitude of a lion-hunter than I like. Indeed, I 
have barely escaped as it is. I sent up my card to him, 
anticipating that I should^ find a crowd, and determined 
to pester him with very little of my chat, after offering 
my services. I thought I might approach him calmly, 
and, like Malvolio, ' quenching my familiar smile with 
an austere regard of control,' address him in the loftiest 
style of hospitable welcome. I had only time to frame 
an appropriate exordium, when his secretary informed 
me that Mr. Dickens had been expecting me, and would 
be glad to see me. Entering the room with somewhat 
of a tremor, for I knew not whether he would ' roar as 
gently as a sucking dove,' I was seized by the hand 
and almost slung across the room, and a dozen remarks 
and questions addressed me in a breath. For he was 
entirely alone and writing. In reply, I at first could only 
gasp, without much power of articulation ; for I suppose 
few persons feel with more devotion the homage due to 
the majesty of genius than I. He proposed a walk, and 
we went to the French Gardens. I need not say that 
I was delighted with his affable, cordial, frank and con- 
versible manner, a strong proof of which is that in ten 
minutes I nearly forgot his distinction as an author, and 
conversed with him on a variety of topics as they 
naturally arose. We discussed law, London, negro 
songs, Richmond, etc., and, in truth, if I were to sum 
up in one sentence the impression he left on my mind, 
it would be that he is a thorough good fellow. As you 
may suppose, from your own feelings, I sedulously 
avoided the crowded streets, having no idea of being 
pointed out as having seized Boz immediately and mono- 
polized him. On our return, we found several gentle- 
men, and, with Mrs. Dickens, we walked to Church Hill. 
She spoke of the pleasure she enjoyed at our house, and 
their hope to see you again. Afterwards we went to 
the Capitol, but persons crowding in to see them, I made 
my bow, after a kind invitation from him to call when- 
ever I felt disposed. I saw that he was likely enough 
to have people around him, and did not see him again 
that day; though I felt unquiet and restless, I must 
confess, and could hardly resist going again. 



"On Saturday morning I sent up my card, and sat a 
short time ; but he was at breakfast and expected a crowd 
of visitors, so did not go out. He had been up late at 
a supper the night before, and laughed at my reason for 
not attending it, that I should have been called on for a 
speech. He was, I hear, very happy, and every one else 
very insipid in their efforts, except Mr. Ritchie, with 
whom he was greatly pleased. 

"At his leve"e, from twelve to two, I attended to present 
a lady and spoke a while with him. He and his wife 
offered to bear letters, etc., to you from me, which I 
declined and took leave. I knew last night that they 
were receiving friends, and I could with difficulty keep 
away from the ' Exchange.' Whether from gratified 
vanity or a purer feeling, admiration of genius or simply 
a liking for the man, I know not, but I do feel very 
sorry that he has gone. I have never seen a man in 
whom, in so brief a period, I was so greatly interested. 
His likenesses certainly flatter him, but they cannot give 
the charm of his face, his rich expression of humour and 
merriment when he laughs his whole face lights up. 
And then if he is not a man of fine feeling, no confidence 
is to be placed in the face as an index of the heart. I 
do sincerely hope his life may be a happy and prosperous 
one. . . . 

"Your affectionate son, 

"GALES SEATON." 

Dickens left Richmond Sunday morning, March 20, 
via Washington for Baltimore, where he arrived the next 
evening, going to Barnum's Hotel, which he said was 
the only hotel he stopped at in the United States where 
he was given enough water to wash himself. 

The day after his arrival the daily papers all contained 
very brief notices announcing his arrival, of which the 
following from the Baltimore Patriot and Commercial 
Gazette is a sample 

"Mr. Charles Dickens and Lady arrived in this city 
last evening from Washington, and took lodgings at 
Barnum's Hotel. We understand it is their intention to 
remain for several days." 




BALTIMORE 




HARNUM'S HOTEL, BALTIMORE 
192 



BALTIMORE 193 

Dickens wrote to Washington Irving in Washington 
on Monday afternoon on his way to Baltimore. 

"We passed through literally passed through this 
place again to-day. I did not come to see you, for I 
really did not have the heart to say ' good-bye ' again, 
and felt more than I can tell you when we shook hands 
last Wednesday. 

"You will not be at Baltimore, I fear? I thought at 
the time that you said you might be there to make our 
parting gayer." 

Dickens had a pleasant surprise at Baltimore, for, as 
will be seen from this article from the Patriot and In- 
quirer, Irving did go to Baltimore. 

"Charles Dickens. This distinguished author has 
been in Baltimore for the last two days, and left this 
morning in the Susquehanna Railroad line for Columbia. 
Mr. and Mrs. Dickens received at their rooms at the 
City Hotel the ladies and gentlemen who extended to 
them the courtesies of social intercourse, and were enter- 
tained privately, as far as their limited sojourn with us 
would admit. 

"Washington Irving was also in Baltimore, and left this 
morning for New York, whence he sails for Madrid early 
in April. It was very pleasant to meet in the social 
circles these distinguished representatives of American 
and English literature. 

"Mr. Dickens made a visit yesterday to the Maryland 
Hospital and Penitentiary, as he takes a deep interest in 
studying human nature in such receptacles of misfortune 
and crime. The civilities extended to him in Baltimore 
were very quiet and unostentatious, and such as must 
have been gratifying to his feelings as a man. 

"He takes the Pennsylvania works at Harrisburg to 
Pittsburgh; then to St. Louis; returns by the Lakes to 
New York, and sails for England in June. His distin- 
guished reception in this country is a striking illustra- 
tion of the influence of mind over mind, of the homage 
which all civilized nations pay to genius of the 



194 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

pre-eminence of that best of all nobility the nobility of 
nature. 

" It is a fine feature in our Republican country, as indi- 
cating our attachment to Republican institutions, that 
this architect of his own fortune is received with ten 
thousandfold more distinction than titled nobility. Long 
may he live to delight and instruct the world with the 
beautiful creations of a genius which does honour to the 
age." 

In a letter to Mr. Charles Lanman, written at Wash- 
ington, February 5, 1868, Dickens thus refers to the 
intercourse between him and Irving in Baltimore, and 
the famous mint-julep which they enjoyed together in 
1842 

"Your reference to my dear friend Washington Irving 
renews the vivid impressions reawakened in my mind 
at Baltimore the other day. I saw his fine face for the 
last time in that city. He came thence from New York 
to pass a day or two with me before I went westward, 
and they were amongst the most memorable of my life 
by his delightful fancy and general humours. Some 
unknown admirer of his books and mine sent to the hotel 
a most enormous mint-julep, wreathed with flowers. We 
sat, one on either side of it, with great solemnity (it filled 
a respectable-sized round table), but the solemnity was 
of very short duration. It was quite an enchanted julep 
and carried us among innumerable people and places 
that we both knew. The julep held out far into the 
night, and my memory never saw him afterwards other- 
wise than as bending over it with his straw, with an 
attempted air of gravity, after some anecdote involving 
some wonderfully droll and delicate observations of char- 
acter, and then, as his eye caught mine, melting out into 
that captivating laugh of his, which was the brightest 
and best I ever heard." 

It will be noticed that Dickens says that the julep was 
sent "by some unknown admirer." When he wrote the 
letter to Mr. Lanman, twenty-six years after he and 
Irving enjoyed the delectable drink, he had forgotten 



HARRISBURG 195 

who the donor was; but it was a Mr. William Guy of 
Philadelphia, as shown by a letter he wrote to Mr. Guy, 
which is now in the possession of his grandson, Mr. 
E. Guy Miller, and which letter he had also forgotten 
having written. The letter is here given 

Bartium's Hotel, March 23, 1842. 
MY DEAR SlR, 

I am truly obliged to you for the beautiful and 
delicious mint-julep which you so kindly sent me. I 
have looked at it, but await further proceedings until the 
arrival of Washington Irving, whom I expect to dine 
with me tete-a-tete, and who will help me to drink to 
your health. With many thanks to you, 

Dear Sir, 

Faithfully yours, 

CHARLES DICKENS. 
Guy, Esquire. 

The American and Commercial Daily Advertiser on 
Friday, March 25, contained the following reference to 
Dickens's and Irving's doings on Wednesday 

"The Hon. Washington Irving was in this city 
Wednesday on his return from the National Metropolis, 
and left here for New York yesterday evening. To a 
private social circle Wednesday evening was afforded 
the high gratification of having within it two of the most 
popular literary men of the day Charles Dickens and 
Washington Irving." 

Dickens left Baltimore on the day following for Pitts- 
burgh, by way of Harrisburg, and the incidents of this 
part of his journey by railroad to York, and thence by 
stage-coach to Harrisburg, are told by him in American 
Notes. He arrived in Harrisburg at 6.30 p.m., and, as 
he wrote, went to "a very snug hotel, which, though 
smaller and far less splendid than many we put up at, 
is raised above them all in my remembrance, by having 
for its landlord the most obliging, considerate and 
gentlemanly person I ever had to deal with." 

o 2 



196 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

The name of the snug hotel and the paragon of a 
landlord is revealed by George H. Morgan in his Annals 
of Harrisburg, in which he refers to Dickens's visit to 
that city as follows 

"In the spring of 1842, the English novelist, Charles 
Dickens, accompanied by his wife, being on a tour 
through the United States and Canada, visited Harris- 
burg on their way from Baltimore to Pittsburgh. They 
remained here overnight and the following forenoon at 
the Eagle Hotel, then kept by Henry Buehler, Esq. 
(Now Bolton House.) The distinguished author gives 
an amusing account of this visit in American Notes for 
General Circulation, published after his return to Eng- 
land, and celebrated for their severe reflection upon the 
institutions and manners of our countrymen." 

No Harrisburg newspaper files for 1842 are obtain- 
able, but the following, from an account written by 
Chief Justice Ellis Lewis of Philadelphia, shortly after 
Dickens's second visit to the United States in 1868, to 
Dr. R. S. McKensie, literary editor of the Philadelphia 
Press, describing a meeting with Dickens at Harrisburg 
in 1842, is interesting 

"In the year 1842 I resided at Williamsport, Lycom- 
ing County. I had been in Philadelphia, and on arriving 
from that city at Buehler's hotel, in Harrisburg, I found 
quite a crowd of people in the house and surrounding it. 
The news was circulated that the celebrated Charles 
Dickens was at the hotel. Some alleged that he had 
gone to the Capitol to witness the proceedings of the 
Legislature, then in session. There was a great desire 
to get a sight of this distinguished man. I confess that 
my own desire was to get away from the crowd, and to 
avoid participating in the eager anxiety which our 
citizens generally display to pay court to distinguished 
strangers from abroad. Accordingly, I went imme- 
diately to the packet boat, then lying at the wharf in 
the canal, although its time for starting for Williams- 
port had not arrived by several hours. I found in the 
cabin of the boat my old friend Samuel R. Wood, a 



!7iim ::u^-:::r:*i 




?v. ;-: .rv-'-t-'C 

OLD CAPITOL OF PENNSYLVANIA, HARRISBURG 




THE BOLTON HOTEL (FORMERLY EXCHANGE), 

HARRISBURG, PA. 
Where Dickens stayed in 1842 
196 



HARRISBURG 197 

Quaker gentleman of Philadelphia, in company with a 
lady and gentleman. To these latter my friend Wood 
honoured me by an introduction. They were Mr. and 
Mrs. Charles Dickens, who had come on board the 
packet boat with the same object which had brought me 
there to avoid the crowd and the display of attention. 
I need not say that I was much gratified with my new 
acquaintance. 

"One circumstance made a deep impression on my 
mind. It happened during our intercourse on the canal 
packet boat. I was much pleased with the social and 
genial disposition of Mr. Dickens, and was impressed 
with the great difference which appeared to exist, at that 
early time in their lives, between the husband and wife. 
She was good-looking, plain and courteous in her 
manners, but taciturn, leaving the burthen of the con- 
versation to fall upon her gifted husband. In the course 
of the conversation I told him that I had a little daughter 
at home who would be delighted if I could present her 
with his autograph, written expressly for her. He con- 
sented to give it. Our mutual friend, the good Quaker 
Warden of the Eastern Penitentiary, Samuel R. Wood, 
bustled about and prepared a sheet of foolscap, with pen 
and ink. Mr. Dickens took up the pen, and commencing 
at the top of the sheet, wrote 

"' Yours faithfully, CHARLES DICKENS.' 

"Mr. Wood remarked: 'Thee begins very close to 
the top of the sheet.' 'Yes,' said Mr. Dickens; 'if 
I left a large blank over my name somebody might write 
a note or a bond over it.' 

' Does thee suppose that a judge of the court would 
do such a thing ? ' said Mr. Wood ; and Mr. Dickens 
replied, ' I did not intimate anything of that kind. 
The paper might soon pass out of the judge's posses- 
sion and be made use of by others. But I do not 
suppose that judges of courts in America are any better 
than the judges in England.' 

"The autograph was written for my daughter Juliet 
and was delivered to her. She is the wife of Hon. 
James N. Campbell, formerly Member of Congress, 



198 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

recently American Minister to Sweden and now residing 
in Philadelphia." 

The canal boat on which Dickens embarked left on 
Friday, June 25, at 3 p.m., and his own account of the 
trip is familiar to all who have read American Notes. 

Mr. Philip Hone made the same journey five years 
after Dickens, and the following extracts from Mr. 
Hone's diary, written as it was by an American, will 
show the reader how little Dickens exaggerated the 
discomforts of the trip 

"June ii. At three o'clock we embarked on the canal 
boat Delaware on a canal voyage of more than two 
hundred miles. The weather is pleasant and we have an 
agreeable set of passengers, not too many. The day 
does very well, but the sleeping is tolerably uncomfort- 
able (there is not much of that, however). The delay 
on this, the first day of the voyage, is rather dis- 
couraging; there has been a breach in the canal which 
has caused an accumulation of loaded boats, but the 
scenery is splendid. Just at the sunsetting (a more 
glorious one I never saw) we came to the junction of 
the Susquehanna and Juniata rivers, fifteen miles from 
Harrisburg, where the boat crosses the dam, the tow- 
path being conveyed across a long bridge of light and 
delicate construction, on piers of massive and solid 
masonry. At the mouth of the Juniata is a handsome 
mansion and a fine estate of four hundred acres called 
Duncan's Island, belonging to a lady of that name, 
whose character seems to be worthy of such a position. 
Here we leave the Susquehanna and follow the course of 
the Juniata beautiful stream, standing in romantic and 
picturesque scenery. 

"Canal: June 13. This canal travelling is pleasant 
enough in the daytime, but the sleeping is awful. There 
are two cabins, in which the men-folk and women-folk 
are separated by a red curtain. In the former apart- 
ment the sleepers are packed away on narrow shelves, 
fastened to the sides of the boat, like dead pigs in a 
Cincinnati pork warehouse. We go to bed at nine 



HARRISBURG 199 

o'clock and rise when we are told in the morning; for 
the bedsteads are formed of the seats of the tables. ' A 
couch by night, a chest of drawers by day ! ' If I 
should ever be so happy as to sleep in my own bed 
again, my comfort will be enhanced by the remembrance 
of my present limited, hard, sheetless dormitory. 

"June 14. An extra car brought in from Holidays- 
burg, at six o'clock this morning, to take the Portage 
Railway across the Allegheny mountains to Johnstown 
thirty-six miles which is effected by ten inclined 
planes, five ascending and five descending. It is some- 
what exciting, but nothing when you get used to it. 
The scenery of these mountains is astonishingly grand, 
wild beyond description. 

11 June 15. Our canal voyage has been pleasant on 
the whole, though tedious. We arrived at the ' Bir- 
mingham of America' at n o'clock this evening. 
I regretted the necessity of entering the city at night, 
but its appearance was quite a novelty; bright flames 
issuing from the foundries, glass works, rolling mills, 
and heavy clouds of smoke making the night's darkness 
darker, gave us a grand entry into Pittsburgh." 



CHAPTER X 

PITTSBURGH, CINCINNATI, LOUISVILLE AND CAIRO 

MR. AND MRS. DICKENS arrived in Pittsburgh at 
9.30 p.m. Tuesday, March 29, and only one newspaper, 
the Morning Chronicle, made any mention of their 
arrival, and that was the following brief notice in the 
issue of March 30 

"Bos in Pittsburgh. Charles Dickens and lady arrived 
in the city last night about 9.30 on his way to St. Louis, 
and took lodgings at the Exchange Hotel. We under- 
stand the managers have given him an invitation to 
visit the Theatre to-night." 

And under the " List of Arrivals " at the principal 
hotels, in the same paper is given 

"Charles Dickens and Lady England." 

It will be seen that in the papers of the Western 
cities which Dickens visited the references to his visit 
are much more brief than in the Eastern papers. This 
is explained by the fact that at that time very little 
attention to local news was given by the papers of the 
West, as the towns were small and the inhabitants were 
all familiar with local affairs, and desired the news from 
the East and from Europe. 

Dickens and his party, as noted above, took up their 
lodgings at the "Exchange," which Dickens wrote was 
"a most excellent hotel." Dickens's opinion as to the 
character of the "Exchange" was not undeserved, as it 
was ranked by travellers of the day as above the average 
of Western hotels. In a book published in Baltimore 
in 1836, the author wrote that the hotel had "genteel 
plate-ware and cutlery and good attendance," and that 

200 




00 



PITTSBURGH 201 

the "servants do not wear wooden or iron-bound shoes," 
from which fact the author observes that "guests may 
sleep undisturbed when late arrivals and their luggage 
make their appearance." He also stated that their charge 
was $i'5o per day, while other hotels charged only $1*25. 

Another writer also speaks of this hotel having fine 
cutlery with the name of the hotel stamped upon it, 
which seems to have been an unusual thing in those 
days. 

While the Pittsburgh newspapers gave very little 
information about Dickens's goings while here, Dickens 
himself has given a pretty full account in American 
Notes as to how he passed his time. 

Dickens left Pittsburgh for Cincinnati on the morn- 
ing of April i, on the steamer Messenger, and the 
following day the editor of the Morning Chronicle rather 
boasts of the fact that the author was not treated and 
flattered as he had been in the East 

"Mr. Dickens and lady left our city yesterday, on 
board the steamboat Messenger, on his westward trip. 
As Birney Marshall said he would be treated in the 
West, so he was treated in Pittsburgh. He was not 
bespattered with that fulsome praise with which he was 
bedaubed in the East, and which, we have not the least 
doubt, was as disagreeable to himself as it was sicken- 
ing to all sensible men. In the words of the editor of 
the Louisville Gazette, we admired his genius, and were 
prepared to greet him with warm and friendly hearts, 
to grasp him by the hand, and give it a good Republican 
shake ; we let him see us as we were, and if he chooses 
to ' write us in his book,' it will be no fault of ours if 
we are classed among the Dogberries who beset his first 
arrival. Many of our citizens called upon him, and 
were delighted with the man whose writings had con- 
tributed so greatly to their enjoyment. We doubt not 
he was better pleased with the quiet hospitality of his 
reception in Pittsburgh, than he would have been if 
we had got up a ' Boz Ball ' or any other ' Gnome Fly ' 
to welcome him." 

The following are extracts from the private diary of 



202 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Mr. Charles B. Scully, who was a prominent attorney 
of Pittsburgh at the time of Dickens's visit 

"Monday, March 28 Mr. Charles Dickens arrived 
to-night at the Exchange Hotel. 

"Tuesday, March 29 At 12 noon a remarkable 
event, a thing I never expected, happened to-day. Went 
to the Exchange Hotel and was shown up to room 
No. 12, and, on announcing our name to Mr. Putnam 
and Mr. D'Almaine, was introduced to Mr. Charles 
Dickens, the greatest author of the age. He gave us 
a cordial hand-shake. I wished him welcome and he 
thanked me most politely. I was then introduced to 
Mrs. Dickens, who very easily and in a friendly manner 
reached out her hand. I took a seat beside her and 
spoke of her fortune in having such good weather. She 
said this was a remarkable country of ours and she 
was delighted with it. I told her she would admire its 
vastness more when on the broad waters of the Ohio 
and Mississippi. She said she hoped she would not be 
too nervous, as she was alarmed at the dreadful accidents 
on our rivers from boiler explosions. I recommended 
her to take a boat with Evans's safety valves, and she 
said she would. She told me Mr. D'Almaine was an 
old friend of her husband. I told her that Mr. Dickens 
had as many admirers of his literary productions here 
in proportion as in the East, although we showed it in 
a more plain and less extravagant way than our Eastern 
brethren, and were more democratic. She smiled very 
graciously. 

"Mr. Dickens is much like his portrait, or likeness, as 
published in his works, a full, thoughtful face, a round 
dark eye, large mouth, wavy hair, and sparse whiskers. 
I never saw an English woman (Mrs. D.) like her, a 
modest and diffident demeanour, fair hair, blue eye and 
round features. Both are very pleasant, in their appear- 
ance. Mr. Dickens stood while I was in the room and 
is very fidgety, as it struck me, and quick. He appears 
to see everything that is going on : for instance, when 
I was speaking to Mrs. D., in a low tone, of boats with 
safety valves, he ran over to the window where I was 



PITTSBURGH 203 

sitting and said, ' What is that you say of safety 
valves ? ' We then talked a few minutes about boats, 
and I bowed and shook hands and left. Afterwards went 
to the ' Exchange ' and serenaded Mr. Dickens. 

"Friday, April i Mr. Dickens left our city on the 
steamboat Messenger for the great West. Saw him 
alight from his carriage and go aboard. There was a 
considerable crowd waiting to see him." 

The Mr. D'Almaine whom Mr. Scully met in Dickens's 
room at the "Exchange," was the English portrait-painter 
mentioned in one of Dickens's letters to Forster describ- 
ing his stay in Pittsburgh. In this letter he wrote : 
"We were there received by a little man (a very little 
man) whom I knew years ago in London. He rejoiceth 
in the name of ' D.G.,' and when I knew him was in 
partnership with his father in the Stock Exchange and 
lived handsomely in Dalton. ... I lost sight of him 
nearly ten years ago, and he turned up t'other day, as 
a portrait-painter in Pittsburgh. . . . He dined with us 
every day of our stay in Pittsburgh (there were only 
three), and was truly gratified and delighted to find me 
unchanged more so than I can tell you." 

The only other item to be found in the Pittsburgh 
Chronicle relating to Dickens is the following from the 
issue of April 4 

"M. G. Searle, Esq., had the distinguished honour 
of attending the last distinguished visitors to our city 
Mr. Charles Dickens and lady on board the steamer 
Messenger, Captain Baird. Mr. Searle is the regular 
agent for all respectable steamboats coming to and 
departing from Pittsburgh." 

It will be noticed that this item does not state whether 
the Messenger was equipped with Evans's safety valves 
or not. Dickens, in American Notes, has described the 
trip down the Ohio river to Cincinnati as "miles and 
miles and miles" of solitude "unbroken by any sign of 
human life or trace of human footsteps." It is not 
uninteresting to compare Dickens's account of the Ohio 



204 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

river with another account by a fellow-countryman, 
Mr. Archibald Prentice, editor of the Manchester 
Times, who made the trip six years later on the 
Messenger, the same boat on which Dickens made the 
journey. Mr. Prentice had read Dickens's account, 
and referred to it in his own as follows 

"What might be expected after this description, but 
an unbroken solitude and an eternal monotony relieved 
by an occasional deformity ? The map of the country 
through which the river flows might show that a con- 
siderable population and immense tracts of cultivated 
land are close upon its banks ; a look at a ' river grade ' 
might show that between Pittsburgh and Cincinnati 
there are no fewer than forty-seven landing-places, most 
of them at rising towns and villages ; and it might thence 
be concluded that the solitude is not exactly such as 
Daniel Boone and Charles Dickens found it. But still 
there might be expected the absence of all beauty; still 
it might be expected from Dickens's description that the 
eye would be more strongly arrested by the mere dry 
grisly skeletons of trees than by luxuriant foliage ; still 
it might be expected that, so far as the beautiful and 
picturesque were concerned, there was nothing to be 
found between the ' Dan of Pittsburgh ' and the ' Beer- 
sheba ' of Cincinnati nothing to tempt the passenger 
to leave the ladies' cabin for the roof of the deck. The 
passengers do not sit sociably after dinner in the cabin 
don't they ? Why, no man with any eye in his head 
would sit still to pass unseeing a single turn in this 
belle riviere, as the French truly named it. Con- 
stantly winding, every quarter of a mile presents a new 
form of beauty. At one place we have steep hills on 
each side clothed with trees growing as if they never 
could grow old ; at another the ends of ridges, with 
magnificent monarchs of the forest rilling the hollows 
between them ; at another the high banks receding half 
a mile or a mile on each side, presenting a combination 
of lawns and trees as might be expected around an Eng- 
lish nobleman's seat; at another, islands of surpassing 
beauty; clearings which indicate the cultivation that is 




204 



CINCINNATI 205 

going on behind. I grudged every moment spent at 
the breakfast, dinner or tea tables. I spent hours alone 
at the highest elevation where the steersman, perched 
aloft for a good look-out, steered the long light steamer 
through its tortuous course; and after a brief twilight, 
I felt as one might feel after listening a whole day to 
the grandest and most beautiful strains of music sorry 
that it was over, yet fatigued with the very intensity of 
the pleasure enjoyed. The next day was Sunday, and 
we enjoyed the same succession of splendid pictures. 
. . . Early next morning we found the vessel lying in 
shore in a fog, so dense that we could not see ten yards 
on either side strange contrast to the preceding night. 
Perhaps in such a mist Charles Dickens might have 
come down the river, only he does not say so. The sun 
soon dispelled the fog, and then the river was before 
us again in all its glory, winding, and its high banks 
receding the white houses and villages and small cities 
increasing in number as we went onwards." 

While the six years that had elapsed between the 
time of Dickens's trip and Mr. Prentice's may have 
been long enough for the change in scenery, so far as 
to allow the white houses, villages and small cities to 
have been built, it would hardly account for the "trees 
growing as if they never could grow old," so that 
possibly the difference in the two accounts may be 
explained by the mist, as suggested by Mr. Prentice. 

Dickens, in describing his arrival at Cincinnati, 
writes of "the broad wharf where the boat was moored; 
with other boats and flags and moving wheels, and hum 
of men around it, as though there were not a solitary 
rood of ground within the compass of a thousand miles." 

The broad paved wharf is still there, but the number 
of steamboats has diminished. In fact, the glory of the 
Ohio and Mississippi rivers has departed so far as 
passenger boats are concerned owing to both these 
rivers being now paralleled with railroads. 

Dickens arrived at Cincinnati on the morning oi 
Monday, April 4, and took up his quarters at the Broad- 
way Hotel, only a short distance from the steamboat 



206 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

landing. Dickens's opinions of the American news- 
papers was fully expressed in one of his letters to 
Forster, in which he wrote : " Of course I can do nothing 
but in some shape or other it gets into the newspapers. 
All manner of lies get there, and occasionally a truth so 
twisted and distorted that it has as much resemblance to 
the real fact as Quilp's leg to Taglioni's." 

This was hardly true with regard to the newspapers 
of Cincinnati, as they published nothing of his doings 
except the bare fact of his arrival, as shown by the 
following 

"Mr. Dickens and his lady have, we are informed, 
arrived in the city." Daily Chronicle, April 4, 1842. 

"Mr. Dickens and Lady arrived in our city yester- 
day morning and have taken rooms at the Broadway 
Hotel. We understand that they will be at home to-day 
from n o'clock until 3 o'clock." Daily Republican, 
April 5, 1842. 

"Charles Dickens. This gentleman reached our city 
yesterday and took lodgings at the Broadway Hotel." 
Cincinnati Gazette, April 5, 1842. 

There were certainly no lies in these three items, and 
a careful search of succeeding issues of these news- 
papers fails to show that they even made any mention 
of his doings in the city, or of his leaving the city on 
the following Wednesday morning. That the Cincin- 
nati newspapers made absolutely no mention of him, or 
his attire, or any personalities whatever, may partly 
explain his very favourable opinion of that city, for he 
wrote : "Cincinnati is a beautiful city, cheerful, thriving 
and animated. . . . The society in which I mingled was 
intelligent and agreeable," etc. Surely the people of 
the city, when they read American Notes, might have 
said: "This is indeed 'praise from Sir Hubert,' and 
so far as we are concerned, we have no fault to find 
with the book." 

Dickens, writing to Forster from Cincinnati on the 
morning of his arrival, said: "About half after eight 
we came ashore and drove to the hotel, to which we 




CINCINNATI LANDING 




BROADWAY HOTEL, CINCINNATI 
206 



CINCINNATI 207 

had written on from Pittsburgh, ordering rooms, and 
which is within a stone's throw from the wharf. Before 
I had issued an official notification that we were ' not 
at home,' two judges called . . . and we fixed for an 
evening party to-morrow night at the home of one of 
them." 

The judge at whose house the party was held was 
Judge Timothy Walker, and the following is an extract 
from his manuscript diary 

"April 5, 1842. Had a visit from Charles Dickens 
and Lady. Rode with them around the city and gave 
them a party in the evening. Liked them much. Have 
read all his works and with great interest. Felt intimate 
with him before I saw him. Like him still better now." 

That the feeling was mutual is shown by an extrac^ 
from one of Dickens's letters to C. C. Felton, from 
Montreal, May 21 

"I saw a good deal of Walker at Cincinnati. I like 
him very much. We took to him mightily at first, 
because he resembled you in face and figure, we think." 

While Dickens liked Judge Walker, he did not seem 
to like the judge's friends, for he wrote Forster con- 
cerning the party : "In the evening we went to a party 
at Judge Walker's and were introduced to at least one 
hundred and fifty first-rate bores, separately and singly." 
That one of the bores was disappointed in Dickens is 
shown by a description of the party by a young lady, 
which is copied from Mackenzie's Life of Charles 
Dickens. 

"I went last evening to a party at Judge Walker's, 
given in honour of the hero of the day, Mr. Charles 
Dickens, and with others had the honour of an intro- 
duction to him. M - had gone to a concert and we 
awaited her return, which made us late. When we 
reached the house, Mr. Dickens had left the crowded 
rooms and was in the hall, with his wife, about taking 
his departure when we entered the door. We were 
introduced to him, and in the flurry and embarrassment 



208 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

of the meeting one of the party dropped a parcel con- 
taining shoes, gloves, etc. Mr. Dickens, stooping, 
gathered them up and restored them with a laughing 
remark, and we bounded upstairs to get our things off. 
Hastening down again, we found him with Mrs. 
Dickens, seated upon a sofa, surrounded by a group of 
ladies, Judge Walker having requested him to delay his 
departure for a few moments, for the gratification of 
some tardy friends who had just arrived, ourselves 
among the number. Declining to re-enter the room 
where he had already taken leave of the guests, he 
seated himself in the hall. He is young and handsome, 
has a mellow, beautiful eye, fine brow, and abundant 
hair. His mouth is large, and his smile is so bright it 
seems to shed light and happiness all about him. His 
manner is easy and negligent, but not elegant. His 
dress was foppish ; in fact he was overdressed, yet his 
garments were worn so easily they appeared to be a 
necessary part of him. He had a dark coat, with lighter 
pantaloons ; a black waistcoat embroidered with coloured 
flowers; and about his neck, covering his white shirt 
front, was a black neckcloth, also embroidered in 
colours, on which were two large diamond pins con- 
nected by a chain ; a gold watch-chain, and a large red 
rose in his button-hole completed his toilet. 

"Mrs. Dickens is a large woman, having a good deal 
of colour and is rather coarse, but she has a good face 
and looks amiable. She seemed to think that Mr. 
Dickens was the attraction and was perfectly satisfied 
to play second, happy in the knowledge that she was 
his wife. She wore a pink silk dress trimmed with a 
white blond flounce, and a pink cord and tassel wound 
round her head. 

" He appeared a little weary, but answered the remarks 
made to him for he originated none in an agreeable 
manner. Mr. Beard's portrait of Fagin was so placed 
in the room that we could see it from where we stood 
surrounding him. One of the ladies asked him if it 
was his idea of the Jew. He replied, ' Very nearly.' 
Another laughingly requested that he would give her 
the rose he wore as a memento. He shook his head, and 



LOUISVILLE 209 

said, ' That would not do ; he could give it to no one 
the others would be jealous.' A half-dozen then in- 
sisted on having it, whereupon he proceeded to divide 
the leaves among them. In taking the rose from his 
coat, either by design or accident, the leaves loosened 
and fell upon the floor, and amid considerable laughter 
the ladies stooped and gathered them. He remained 
some twenty minutes, perhaps, in the hall, then took his 
leave. I must confess to considerable disappointment 
in the person of my idol. I felt that his throne was 
shaken, although it could never be destroyed." 

Dickens left Cincinnati on Wednesday morning, 
April 6, on the steamer Pike, as the Messenger, on 
which he had arrived, had gone on to St. Louis. He 
arrived at Louisville about midnight and put up at the 
Gait House, which he says in American Notes is "a 
splendid hotel, and we were as handsomely lodged as 
though we were in Paris, rather than hundreds of miles 
beyond the Alleghanies." 

The Louisville Courier Journal said in 1870 that when 
Mr. Dickens came to that city in 1842, he stopped at the 
Gait House, whose landlord, Throckmorton, was a high- 
strung Southerner of much character and influence, the 
intimate of Clay, Crittenden and all the worthies. Mr. 
Dickens had not been there long when Mr. Throck- 
morton visited him and offered his services in introduc- 
ing him to the first families of Kentucky. "Sir, are 
you the publican who keeps this inn ? " inquired Mr. 
Dickens. "Yes, sir," he replied. "Then," said Mr. 
Dickens, "when I have need for your services, I will 
ring for you." 

This story is given for what it is worth, and it is 
probably not worth much, for while it might not have 
been customary in England for the landlord of an hotel 
to offer to introduce his guests to the best people of the 
town, still, Dickens was always considerate of others, 
and knowing as he did that the manners and customs 
of the United States at that time were different from 
those of England, it is certain that he would have recog- 
nized that the landlord's offer was made in all serious- 



210 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

ness and kindness to the stranger, and that he would 
have taken the offer in the spirit in which it was meant, 
and would not have met the offer with such a super- 
cilious reply. 

Dickens left Louisville the next day by the steamer 
Fulton for St. Louis, boarding the boat at Portland, a 
suburb of the city. In American Notes Dickens men- 
tions a visitor to the boat in the person of a man named 
Porter, who was seven feet eight inches in his stockings. 
Mr. Philip Hone in his diary also mentions Porter, 
whom he saw on a trip from Pittsburgh to St. Louis 
in 1847 

"At the last dock, the new passengers all went ashore 
to see Porter, the Kentucky giant. He keeps an hotel 
and makes a good living out of the curiosity of travellers 
who stop to drink with him. The Captain introduced 
me to him. This mighty piece of humanity is seven 
feet eight inches in height, thirty-five years of age. I 
stood by his side, he stretched out his arm at right angles 
to his body, and it was six inches over my head. I 
fear that this last one of the race of giants will have run 
his earthly race ere long." 

Mr. Prentice, whose description of the Ohio river is 
previously quoted, also saw the Kentucky giant, and 
wrote concerning him 

"He is much respected and has been one of the 
councilmen of the city. He told me that Lord Morpeth 
called upon him at his coffee-house, and that he was 
much pleased with his lordship's plain, unpretending 
manner. He did not like Dickens, who had sent for 
him. ' He had a double gold chain outside his waist- 
coat,' said Porter, ' and such breastpins, that I thought 
he looked like one of our river gamblers,' a class of 
persons who, it seems, particularly affect a show of 
jewelry." 

The Fulton, on its journey down the Ohio, passed 
Cairo on the morning of Saturday, April 9, and it 
is pretty certain that Dickens was up early to get 
a view of the Eldorado on which he and so many of 




VIEW ON THE OHIO RIVER BETWEEN CINCINNATI AND 
LOUISVILLE 




LOUISVILLE 



CAIRO 211 

his countrymen had invested their funds. Here is what 
he wrote in American Notes describing his first view of 
Cairo 

"At length, upon the morning of the third day, we 
arrived at a spot so much more desolate than any we 
had yet beheld, that the forlornest places we had passed 
were, in comparison with it, full of interest. At the 
junction of the two rivers, in ground so flat and low 
and marshy that at certain seasons of the year it is 
inundated to the housetops, lies a breeding-place of 
fever, ague, and death, vaunted in England as a mine 
of Golden Hope, and speculated in, on the faith of 
monstrous representations, to many people ruin. A 
dismal swamp, on which the half-built houses rot away ; 
cleared here and there for the space of a few yards, and 
then teeming with rank unwholesome vegetation, on 
whose baneful shade the wretched wanderers who are 
tempted hither, droop and die and lay their bones; the 
hateful Mississippi circling and eddying before it, and 
turning off upon its southern course a slimy monster, 
hideous to behold; a hotbed of disease, an ugly sepul- 
chre, a grave uncheered by any gleam of promise; a 
place without one single quality, in earth or air or water, 
to commend it such is the dismal Cairo." 

On the return trip from St. Louis to Cincinnati he 
passed Cairo the second time, and he again wrote 

" In good time next morning, however, we came 
again in sight of the detestable morass called Cairo, and 
stopping there, to take on wood, lay alongside a barge, 
whose starting timbers scarcely held together. It was 
moored to the bank, and on its side was painted ' Coffee 
House,' that being, I suppose, the floating paradise to 
which people fly for shelter when they lose their houses 
for a month or two beneath the hideous waters of the 
Mississippi. But looking southward from this point, 
we had the satisfaction of seeing that intolerable river 
dragging its slimy length and ugly freight abruptly off 
towards New Orleans, and passing a yellow line which 
stretched across the current, were again upon the clear 

P 2 



212 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Ohio, never, I trust, to see the Mississippi again save 
in troubled dreams and nightmares." 

If any good American thinks to-day that this descrip- 
tion of Cairo was overdrawn or exaggerated, let him 
look at the picture "High Water at Cairo" (1844), and 
read the following description of that flood which 
occurred just two years after Dickens saw the place 

"In 1844 the houses at Cairo, at the confluence of the 
Ohio and Mississippi, were nearly submerged. The 
swollen rivers were fourteen miles wide between the 
opposite shores of Kentucky and Missouri. Movable pro- 
perty of every kind, fences, cattle, lumber, furniture and 
entire houses (wooden ones of course) were floated down 
the Mississippi and other rivers. A building was seen 
driving down the Mississippi while several persons from 
the windows were calling for assistance, which on 
account of the torrent-like velocity of the stream could 
not be afforded them. Many lives were lost, and the 
amount of property destroyed by the flood is beyond all 
estimate. Many people and dead bodies floated down 
the Mississippi. A house, with a whole family inside 
it, went over the falls of the Ohio. Boats passed over 
fields and plantations, far beyond the limits of the river, 
and took the frightened from the upper stories and 
roofs of their houses, to which they had been driven for 
refuge from the waters. The levels or embankments 
made at different places, as defences against the river, 
were broken through." 

Can any one say after reading this description of the 
1844 flood that Dickens, in writing Martin Chuzzleivit, 
had drawn on his imagination in describing Eden ? It 
would almost seem that his picture might with truth 
have been made darker. Can any reader of the present 
day be surprised that Dickens never wanted to see Cairo 
again ? 

The following is a description of Cairo written in 
1856, and reprinted from Lloyd's Steamboat Directory, 
published in Cincinnati in that year. It will be seen 
that even fourteen years after Dickens saw the place it 



CAIRO 218 

had only one thousand inhabitants, and that although it 
was the terminus of the Illinois Central Railroad at that 
time, the largest in the United States, it might still have 
been, without exaggeration, the prototype of Eden 

"Cairo is advantageously situated in Alexandria 
County, Illinois, at the southern extremity of the State, 
on a point of land formed by the confluence of the Ohio 
and Mississippi rivers, one hundred and eighty-four 
miles below St. Louis, and one thousand miles above 
New Orleans. The situation at the junction of these two 
great rivers affords one of the finest positions for a com- 
mercial city that can be found in the Western States; 
but owing to some natural defects in the locality, the 
growth has been less rapid than it would have been in 
more favourable circumstances. The banks of the Ohio 
at this point are low, and the surrounding country is 
still lower. These occasional overflows and the marshy 
nature of the soil are supposed to affect the health of the 
neighbourhood ; but by the industry and ingenuity of 
man these natural disadvantages have already been 
removed, to some extent, and there is no reason to doubt 
that all such obstacles to the improvement of the place 
will, in the course of time, be entirely removed. A level 
or embankment, twenty-six feet high, has been erected 
at a cost of $1,000,000 to protect the town and adjacent 
country from overflows. Since this great work was 
completed, Cairo has improved very rapidly. It is the 
southern terminus of the Illinois Central Railroad (the 
longest railroad in the United States), which extends to 
Chicago and Rock Island. A line of first-class steamers 
will soon be in operation between Cairo and New Orleans, 
leaving each place daily and conveying the United States 
mail. When we consider what New Orleans has effected 
in order to overcome the natural disadvantages of soil 
and situation, we cannot question the ability of Cairo to 
obviate those minor inconveniences which at one time 
threatened to interfere with her prosperity. Judging 
from what has been done already, we may safely predict 
that this place will soon become a flourishing emporium, 
and command the immense trade of the West, North- 



214 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

west, and South. The tardy growth of Cairo, in earlier 
times, has been ascribed in a great measure to the 
illiberal policy of the English Company which purchased 
the land some years ago, and attempted to establish a 
monopoly of the whole ground, of which they retained 
the ownership, and making mere tenancy of all the 
settlers. A better system now prevails; another com- 
pany, of far more progressive character than the pre- 
ceding one, has obtained possession of the land, men of 
energy and pecuniary means have been induced to settle 
on the place ; improvements of various kinds have been 
carried into effect, and still greater ones are in con- 
templation. Two excellent papers have been estab- 
lished. The population at present is 1000, and is 
rapidly increasing." 

The "View of Cairo," facing this page, is also pro- 
duced from the same book as the description of the 
town. 





VIEW OF CAIRO, 1856 




HIGH WATER, CAIRO, 1844 



214 



CHAPTER XI 

ST. LOUIS AND THE PRAIRIE 

DICKENS wrote Forster from Richmond on the lyth of 
March, referring to his contemplated visit to St. Louis 

"I am going to break my resolution of accepting no 
more public entertainments in favour of the originators 
of the printed document overleaf. They live upon the 
confines of the Indian territory, some two thousand miles 
or more west of New York ? Think of my dining there ! 
And yet, please God, the festival will come off I should 
say about the i2th or i5th of next month. . . ." 

The printed document, Forster wrote, was a series of 
resolutions moved at a public meeting attended by the 
principal citizens, judges, professors and doctors, 
urgently inviting to that city of the Far West the dis- 
tinguished writer, then the guest of America, and tender- 
ing to him their warmest hospitalities. 

A search of the existing files of the St. Louis news- 
papers fails to discover any account of the meeting at 
which the invitation to Dickens was extended or any 
copy of the printed documents to which he referred ; but 
on April 6 the St. Louis Republican contained the 
following brief notice of further action by the Com- 
mittee 

"The Committee formed some time since to invite 
Mr. Dickens to this city have agreed to tender him, 
upon his arrival, a public ball and such other hospitalities 
as may be in accordance with his wishes and present 
mode of travelling." 

Dickens arrived in St. Louis after a journey by water 
from Pittsburgh of 1,230 miles, having travelled the 

215 



216 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

entire length of the Ohio River and up the Mississippi 
River from Cairo. The day after fiis arrival the Repub- 
lican, noting his arrival, said 

"Bos The veritable Charles Dickens and Lady 
arrived last evening on board the Fulton from Louis- 
ville. They took us a little by surprise, for we did not 
expect them before Tuesday ; but no matter, he will find 
a cordial welcome in this far land of the West. Though 
our fare may be homely, it will not be given with stint 
or grudging, but from honest hearts, though uncourtly. 
Rooms have been taken for them at the Planter's 
House." 

The Planter's House was one of the hotels which 
Dickens was surprised to find 2000 miles west of the 
Atlantic Ocean, and in one of his letters to Forster had 
this to say about it 

"The inns in these outlandish corners of the world 
would astonish you with their goodness. The Planter's 
House is as large as the Middlesex Hospital, and built 
very much on our hospital plan, with long wards abun- 
dantly ventilated and plain whitewashed walls. They 
had a famous notion of sending up at breakfast-time 
large glasses of new milk with blocks of ice in them as 
clear as crystal. Our table was abundantly supplied at 
every meal. One day when Kate and I were dining 
together in our room, we counted sixteen dishes on our 
table at the same time." 

Monday, the day after their arrival, was spent looking 
around the city and receiving the calls of some of the 
citizens. 

On Tuesday the Republican contained the following 
with regard to the programme for the entertainment on 
that and the next day 

"Boz Yesterday a number of our citizens, we under- 
stand, paid their respects to Mr. Dickens and his lady. 
Those who called speak in the highest terms of the 
gratification afforded them by the visit. To-day the 
Committee which had in charge his entertainment treat 



ST. LOUIS AND THE PRAIRIE 217 

him to a view of the prairie, a sight which he seems 
very desirous of enjoying. To-morrow evening he is to 
be treated to a soiree. This mode has been adopted in 
preference to a ball, as it furnishes to all an opportunity 
of gratifying their feelings, which call them together, 
and will not interfere with the scruples of propriety of 
any." 

There must have been at that time some of the good 
people of the city who looked upon dancing as the 
amusement of the wicked, so, as the Republican said, 
a soiree was given, in order not to interfere with the 
"scruples of propriety of any." 

Dickens has given his own version of the trip to the 
prairie, but Dr. J. F. Snyder, who was a boy resitting 
in Belleville, Illinois, at the time, and saw the arrival 
of the party in that town, has written a very interesting 
account of his recollection of the event for the Journal of 
the Illinois Historical Society, from which the following 
extracts are taken 

"Beside Mr. Dickens and the drivers of the four 
teams, there were nine men and no ladies in the party, 
only two of whom I could identify and can now remem- 
ber. These were John J. Anderson, a banker, and 
George Knapp of the Missouri Republican. They were 
all young men connected with the newspapers and busi- 
ness interests of St. Louis, bent upon affording their 
famous guest a glimpse of the grandeur of Illinois, the 
' two large baskets and two large demi-johns,' with ice 
and other extras, taken along, indicating the picnic 
aspect of the ' jaunt,' and intent to make it as pleasant 
for him as possible. Seated in the several conveyances 
with one of their number on horseback as guide, they 
crossed the Mississippi in the early morning on one of 
the Wiggins Company ferry-boats. At that season of 
the year the miry road across the seven miles of soft 
loamy soil of the American bottom, and the succeeding 
seven miles of sticky clay uplands to Belleville, usually 
rendered travelling over it slow and difficult, and was, 
in fact, at times almost impassable. 

"Returning home at about eleven o'clock in the fore- 



218 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

noon of that I5th day of April from an errand upon 
which I had been sent to the eastern part of the village, 
I had reached the public square when the line of car- 
riages came pulling through the mud up Main Street 
from the West. In doubt as to whether they formed a 
funeral procession or transported some kind of show, I 
stopped to see them pass by. Just then Philip B. 
Foulke, editor of the Belleville Advocate, and in later 
years our Congressman, came down the street to the 
court-house, and I asked him who those travelling 
strangers were. He had, a few minutes before, inter- 
viewed the horseman who had arrived in advance of them 
to have luncheon prepared for the party, and was hurry- v 
ing into the court-house circuit court being in session 
to inform the bench and bar the object and purpose of 
the novel expedition that had excited my curiosity. 
Startled by hearing that Boz, the author of the Pickwick 
Papers, was actually there, I turned about and, keeping 
abreast of the first carriage, followed it up the street 
until it stopped at the door of the Mansion House. On 
the way I was joined by several other boys, my daily 
associates, not one of whom perhaps had ever heard of 
Charles Dickens, but attracted by the unusual appear- 
ance of so many strange vehicles, went along gazing at 
them with open-mouthed wonder. 

"When the barouche conveying Mr. Dickens halted 
at the curbstone, he was the first of its four inmates to 
step from it to the sidewalk, and did so with a look of 
evident relief. It was a perfect day 'overhead,' warm 
for the middle of April, with clear sky and the refreshing 
air of early spring. The landlord, Mr. McBride, came 
bustling out, bareheaded, to receive the company, and 
was introduced to the famous writer by one of his travel- 
ling companions. The man introduced as ' Mr. Dickens ' 
was (to me) a disappointing surprise. In fact, my youth- 
ful ideal of the genius who created Mr. Pickwick, Sam 
Weller and the Widow Bardell was badly shattered. It 
is natural for the average man, woman or boy, when 
hearing about any noted individual, to form a definite 
idea of that person's appearance; or, upon reading an 
interesting book, to draw an imaginary portrait of its 




ST. LOUIS 




PLANTER S HOUSE, ST. LOUIS 
218 



ST. LOUIS AND THE PRAIRIE 219 

author. Mr. Dickens was, on that day, a very ordinary- 
looking man indeed, with no external indication of true 
greatness. In the estimation of ' us boys ' he compared 
very unfavourably with Col. Richard M. Johnson of 
Kentucky, the slayer of Tecumseh, and late vice-presi- 
dent, who had, a short time before, visited Belleville, 
and had been given a grand reception with brass band 
accompaniment. 

"The ' Mansion House,' on the north-east corner of 
Main and High Streets, is still there. Solid and sub- 
stantial, though a dingy-looking relic of a past age in 
the midst of modern progress, it is yet (1910) serviceable 
as a business house, and, with pride, is pointed out to 
strangers by the older residents as the hostelry where 
Mr. Dickens was entertained in 1842. Of it he says: 
' There was an hotel in this place ... an odd, sham- 
bling, low-roofed outhouse, half cowshed and half 
kitchen, with a coarse brown canvas tablecloth, and tin 
sconces stuck against the walls to hold candles at supper- 
time.' The Mansion House was really a large, roomy 
brick building, fully up to date in all respects, two 
storeys high, with long two-storey frame addition, 
erected only three years before by the Rev. Thomas 
Harrison, and was well arranged, well furnished and 
conducted in first-class style by his daughter and her 
husband, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. J. McBride. 

"Mr. Dickens and companions on arrival were escorted 
by the landlord up-stairs and to rooms provided with 
water, towels, etc., where they might perform their 
ablutions and ' dress for dinner ' ; and the carriages, 
from which the horses were unhitched and taken to the 
stable, were left standing in front of the hotel. 

"Court having adjourned for the noon recess, Colonel 
Niles, Governor Koerner, Phil Foulke and two or three 
other members of the bar, with several citizens, came up 
to the Mansion House to pay their respects to the famous 
guest. Judge Breese and Jo. Gillespie declined to 
accompany them. 

" With boyish curiosity and eagerness to see all that was 
going on, I followed Mr. Dickens unasked, and no doubt 
unwanted, to the foot of the stairs, and waited there 



220 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

until he came down and was introduced to the lawyers 
and some of the other visitors. I was in close proximity 
to his coat-tail when he was presented to ' Dr. Crocus,' 
and was an interested witness to that interview which, 
as narrated in Chapter XIII of the American Notes, 
is substantially correct, with the exception that the land- 
lord, Mr. McBride, was not addressed as ' Colonel.' He 
was a quiet, unobtrusive, upright man, an exemplary 
citizen and rigid Methodist, but not a colonel. The man 
portrayed as ' Dr. Crocus ' was an adventurer calling 
himself Dr. Angus Melrose perhaps an assumed name 
who had a few months before alighted in Belleville 
as a lecturer on phrenology, then a very popular fad, 
and incidentally offering his professional services for 
the healing of all known diseases. 

"To Mr. Dickens's question, ' Do you think soon of 
returning to the old country ? ' Mr. Melrose answered, 
' Not yet awhile, sir, not yet. You won't catch me at 
that just yet, sir. I am a little too fond of freedom 
for that, sir. Ha, ha ! It's not so easy for a man to 
tear himself from a free country such as this is, sir. 
Ha, ha ! No, no ! Ha, ha ! None of that till one's 
obliged to do it, sir. No, no ! ' In this grandiloquent 
declaration the doctor was very evidently, as Mr. 
Dickens intimated, ' playing to the galleries,' but he 
also intended Mr. Dickens to understand that he was 
speaking ironically and, by innuendo, expressing his 
contempt for American institutions. With proverbial 
English obtuseness of perception, however, Mr. Dickens 
failed to catch the doctor's covert meaning. 

"Dr. Melrose was over six feet in height, and robust 
in proportion, with florid face and long nose. Of 
friendly, social disposition, he was a fluent talker, speak- 
ing correct English with broad Scotch accent. To Mr. 
McBride he stated that he had recently graduated in 
medicine at the Edinburgh University, and having but 
limited means, to gratify his desire to see America he 
had recourse to the lecture platform, phrenology and the 
practice of medicine to defray expenses of touring the 
country. He remained in Belleville several months, but 



ST. LOUIS AND THE PRAIRIE 221 

though immortalized as ' Dr. Crocus ' by the American 
Notes, very few persons now living retain the slightest 
recollection of him. 

"For half-an-hour or more Mr. Dickens was sur- 
rounded by a throng of citizens, to several of whom he 
was formally introduced, but to none of whom he 
addressed anything more than curt, commonplace 
remarks. It was plain that he was both bored and 
amused by the curiosity and evident disappointment of 
the crowd inspecting him, and seemed glad when the 
dinner-bell ended the impromptu reception. The 
glimpse obtained of him from the open dining-room 
door, when all were seated at the long table, left no 
doubt as to the ample justice he was doing to the 
' chicken fixings ' specially prepared for him. Dinner 
over, he strolled out on the sidewalk in front of the 
hotel, viewing part of the town in the range of his vision, 
while conversing with his St. Louis friends until the 
horses were brought from the stable and all was ready 
to move on again. 

'"From Belleville,' says Mr. Dickens, 'we went 
through the same desolate kind of waste, and constantly 
attended, without the interval of a moment, by the same 
music' (the croaking of bullfrogs). Here again, with 
the American bottom vaguely in mind, he drew upon 
his memory and it failed him. The road, from Belle- 
ville to Lebanon then almost the entire twelve miles 
through dense woods, broken here and there by the 
farms of Governor Kinney and other old settlers is 
over high, undulating and beautiful country, remote 
from sloughs or swamps or other habitats of the festive 
mosquito or musical frog. 

"The hotel at Lebanon was more fortunate than the 
one in our town in catching the fancy of the novelist, 
and he accorded it this dubious praise : ' In point of 
cleanliness and comfort, it would have suffered by no 
comparison with any English ale-house, of a homely 
kind, in England.' It was a large barn-like frame build- 
ing, called the Mermaid Hotel, with a large square sign 
on a tall post in front, on which was painted a full-sized 






222 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

mermaid standing on her tail on the waves, holding a 
looking-glass before her with one hand and combing her 
golden tresses with the other. The house was owned 
and conducted as an inn and stage by Captain Lyman 
Adams, a retired New England sea captain of kind and 
genial disposition who ended his days there, highly 
respected and esteemed by all who knew him. 

"After dining on the prairie, Mr. Dickens and party 
returned to Lebanon and passed the night at the Mer- 
maid Hotel. The next morning he arose at five o'clock, 
and after a short walk about the village, returned to the 
tavern and amused himself for some time in the inspec- 
tion of its public rooms and backyard, which seems to 
have afforded him more genuine enjoyment than his 
view of the prairie." 

The party arrived in St. Louis on their return on 
Wednesday afternoon, and the following from the Belle- 
ville Advocate of April 21 is a fair sample of American 
journalism, as practised in the average country news- 
paper at that time 

"Mr. Charles Dickens (the renowned English novelist) 
passed through this town on Monday the i2th inst. to 
take at least a bird's-eye view of the Looking-Glass 
Prairie, or the Reflecting Mirror, as it may be truly 
termed, of our whole prairie region. After which when 
he returned to St. Louis, and while on the evening of 
the 1 2th was participating with the literati of St. Louis 
in a splendid entertainment given him at the Planter's 
House, Governor Kinney, being then in the city, sent 
a respectful letter of welcome to him as a visitor to the 
Far West; enclosing therein, as a specimen of his own 
writing, his answer to 'an old friend,' a farmer, on the 
subject of taking and reading the newspapers, etc. In 
answer to which letter, the next day previous to his 
departure, Mr. Dickens left the following note to the 
Governor, at the Planter's House, which I have obtained 
permission to publish. We understand that Boz, alias 
the old Dickens, was much enraptured with the scenery 
which this short romantic tour opened to his view, and 



ST. LOUIS AND THE PRAIRIE 223 

does not regret, in the least, the time occupied to gratify 
the curiosity which led him to perform it. 

"'Planter's House ', St, Louis, April 14, 1842. 

"' MY DEAR SIR, 

" ' I am truly obliged to you for your letter of 
welcome and congratulation, which has given me real 
pleasure. Accept my cordial thanks, and believe me, 
" ' Faithfully yours, 
"' (Signed) CHARLES DICKENS.' " 

The same issue of the Advocate contained the follow- 
ing communication 

"MR. EDITOR, 

"It is understood that Mr. Dickens, after visiting 
the Looking-Glass Prairie and taking a view of the 
scenery thereof (which may be considered an index to 
the whole prairie volume of Illinois), intimated an inten- 
tion on his return to his native country, to give a pictur- 
esque view of the novelty, real beauty and sublimity of 
our whole prairie system ; which, we have no doubt, will 
be both instructive and entertaining to his readers at 
home and to his admirers in the Far West. 

"Should he be able, with his pen, to give the public, 
and particularly the old bachelors who are fond of novels, 
a more lucid and enchanting description than Governor 
Kinner did at the celebration on the last 8th of January 
in this place, we must acknowledge that he can beat the 
extemporaneous effusion of a Sucker." 

On the evening of the return from the prairie the 
soiree at the Planter's House occurred, and Dickens, 
on writing to Forster, refers to it 

"We had a crowded levee at St. Louis. Of course 
the paper had an account of it. If I were to drop a 
letter on the street it would be in the newspaper the 
next day, and nobody would think its publication an 
outrage. The editor objected to my hair as not curling 
sufficiently. He admitted an eye, but objected again to 
my dress as being somewhat foppish and indeed rather 
flash." 



224 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Here is evidently the article to which Dickens referred, 
and the reader can judge whether it was so objectional 
as to warrant such strong condemnation as he gave it 

" We knocked at the door, gave our name to a gentle- 
man usher, and were introduced to Charles Dickens and 
his Lady. Dickens stands very straight, is of medium 
length, and has a good figure. His manner of intro- 
duction is free and easy, frank. His head shows large 
perceptive faculties, a large volume of brain in front of 
the ears, but not a large causality. His eye is to our 
perception blue, dark blue and full. It stands out 
slightly and is handsome very beautiful. It is the 
striking feature of his physiognomy. 

"His hair has been described as very fine. We did 
not find it remarkably so. It is slightly wavy, and has 
a glossy soft texture. We had thought from his portraits 
that it was thick, but did not find it so. He wore a 
black dress coat, with collar and facings of velvet, a 
satin vest with very gay and variegated colours, light 
coloured pantaloons, and boots polished to a fault. His 
neck was covered by a low rich satin stock, with a small 
bow and large appendages, which were arranged rather 
carelessly, and fastened with a double pin united by a 
chain, and so disposed as to hide his shirt bosom 
entirely. 

"No shirt collar appeared, but the wristbands were 
turned back over the cuffs of his coat. Small thin 
whiskers run along in front of his ears. One or more 
rings ornamented his fingers. Dickens is thirty years 
and one or two months old. He does not look older. 
No one would suspect from inspection that he is the 
genius his works prove him to be. The world has 
scarcely furnished an example of a man who has written 
his way to so widespread a fame as his in so short a 
time." St. Louis Organ. 

The Republican on Friday, April 15, contained only 
the following very brief note on the soiree 

"Boz. A large number of ladies and gentlemen paid 




MANSION HOUSE, BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS 
Where Dickens stayed in 1842 




NEIL HOUSE, COLUMBUS, OHIO, 1844 

224 



ST. LOUIS AND THE PRAIRIE 225 

their respects to Mr. Dickens and lady at a soiree given 
at the Planter's House on Wednesday night. Yesterday 
they left St. Louis on the Messenger for Louisville and 
Cincinnati. From the latter place they will proceed to 
Portsmouth, and from there by the Ohio Canal to the 
lakes, visiting Niagara Falls, and return to the east." 



CHAPTER XII 

THE RETURN TRIP ST. LOUIS TO NEW YORK 

As stated in the previous chapter, Dickens left St. 
Louis Thursday, April 14, on the return journey east, 
on the steamer Messenger, on which he had travelled 
from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati, and in American Notes 
he has told of his trip down the Mississippi and his 
opinion of that "filthy river," and how he took his last 
look at "the detestable morass called 'Cairo.'' The 
boat arrived at Louisville on Sunday the iyth, and he 
remained over night at the Gait House, leaving there 
the next day on the Ben Franklin, which he said was "a 
beautiful mail steamboat," and arrived at Cincinnati at 
i a.m. on Tuesday. The following are the only notices 
that can be found in the Cincinnati newspapers referring 
to his return to that city 

"Mr. Dickens arrived in town yesterday and took 
lodgings at the Broadway Hotel. He leaves to-day for 
New York, via Columbus. " Cincinnati Gazette. 

"Charles Dickens, Esq., and Lady arrived yesterday 
by the mail boat Ben Franklin and took rooms at the 
Broadway Hotel. He leaves this morning via Colum- 
bus and the Lakes, for the Falls of Niagara, on his 
route to New York." 

Dickens has given a very full account in American 
Notes of the trip to Niagara Falls, but his secretary, 
Mr. Putnam, in his account has told of some incidents 
of the journey which are not related by Dickens. It is 
interesting to compare Dickens's story with Putnam's, 
and the latter is therefore copied in full. 

"The coach was crowded with passengers, and, as 
usual, Mr. Dickens secured his favourite seat on the 

226 



ST. LOUIS TO NEW YORK 227 

box with the driver. We travelled all night, and a weary 
journey it was. Mrs. Dickens sat on the back seat, and 
my place was on the middle seat by the window in front 
of her. Opposite me, through the night, sat a well- 
dressed man ; but all night long he poured out a rain 
of tobacco spittle which, from the motion of the coach, 
fell on us in showers. I tried to screen Mrs. Dickens, 
but notwithstanding my efforts, and the aid of a thick 
veil, she could not escape the disgusting results. 

" Arriving at Columbus, we stopped at the Neil House, 
an excellent hotel ; a few hours were given to rest and 
sleep, and afterwards Mr. Dickens received for an hour 
or two the ladies and gentlemen who called upon him. 
The plan of travel was to get to Sandusky City on Lake 
Erie, take a steamer to Buffalo, thence go to Niagara, 
and thence to Canada. 

"At Columbus we hired a stage-coach exclusively for 
our party, and the stage company sent an agent with 
the driver to go through with us. The upper portion 
of Ohio was largely at that time an unbroken forest, and 
the accommodations for travellers were very poor. 
Nothing but corn-bread and bacon could be obtained at 
the log cabins on the road, and so our good landlord of 
the Neil House had a basket of provisions put up for us 
to dine upon. The road was pretty good at first, but 
did not improve as we went on. We had, however, a 
good stage-coach to ourselves and a good team and 
driver. So for many miles we went on quite well. The 
driver, at intervals of a dozen miles or so, would com- 
mence blowing his horn, to give notice at the station a 
mile or more ahead, that a relay of horses was to be 
ready. It was evidently unusual for an ' extra ' to go 
through on that road, and while we changed horses all 
the people in the log tavern and its neighbourhood 
would assemble to look at us, and they generally found 
out by questioning the driver that it was ' Boz ' who 
was travelling with an ' extra ' toward the lake. Soon 
after noon we came to a pleasant nook in the woods, not 
far from a log-cabin, and our basket of provisions was 
opened and the cloth spread upon the grass. I obtained 
a pitcher of cool water at the cabin near by, and dinner 
Q 2 



228 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

was ready. I trust I shall be excused if I mention here 
a little instance of the kindness of heart always shown 
by Charles Dickens. The driver and his friend, who 
were now waiting with the coach a little distance, had 
dined at the log tavern which we passed a half-hour 
before. But before -we dined, Mr. Dickens, heaping up 
a large quantity of oranges, apples, nuts and raisins, 
which we had brought for dessert, and a quantity of 
wine added, requested me to take them to the driver 
and his companion, which I did. It was a little incident ; 
but it was characteristic of that man throughout life to 
remember others. 

"After dinner I returned the pitcher, taking the 
basket and dishes with me to the log cabin, and the 
people were greatly pleased and surprised when I made 
them a present of the whole. We hurried off again, as 
the road was constantly growing worse and night not 
far distant. 

"At the next place for changing horses a log cabin 
and stable standing all alone in the forest we alighted 
for a few moments and went in. An elderly woman 
received us and gave us seats. In an adjoining room 
there were two tall, good-looking young girls, her 
daughters, spinning. They seemed quite desirous to 
know, and were too bashful to ask, who the strangers 
were. Being curious to see if, in the midst of the almost 
unbroken forests of Northern Ohio, the inmates of that 
lone cabin had ever heard of Charles Dickens, I inci- 
dentally mentioned his name. ' Is it indeed ! ' said the 
girls, and with brightened eyes and looks of pleasure 
on their handsome faces they came and sat down where 
they could see Mr. and Mrs. Dickens. The coach was 
soon ready, and with a few words and a kind ' good- 
bye ' to the woman and her daughters from Mr. and 
Mrs. Dickens, we went on our way. I told Mr. Dickens 
that the girls had read his books and were happy to 
have seen him ; and the incident seemed to gratify him, 
as well it might. 

"We soon began to know something of the exquisite 
softness of ' corduroy roads.' Some dozen miles of this 
kind of road now lay before us, and as they talked of 



ST. LOUIS TO NEW YORK 229 

' building a good road there some time or other ' no 
repairs had for a long interval been made in the 
' Corduroy ' ; consequently holes nearly large enough 
to bury coach, horses and all were constantly occurring, 
which, however, the driver managed with great skill to 
avoid. It was a wondrous talent that put the wood and 
iron of that coach together, for it did not seem possible 
that it could long remain unbroken. 

"Mrs. Dickens had the back seat to herself; as the 
terrible jolting increased, Mr. Dickens, taking two 
handkerchiefs, tied the ends of them to the door-posts 
on each side, and the other ends Mrs. Dickens wound 
around her wrists and hands. This contrivance, to 
which was added the utmost bracing of the feet, enabled 
the kind and patient lady to endure the torture of 
the ' Corduroy.' Mr. Dickens and myself occupied the 
middle seat, with our arms wound tightly around the 
other door-posts, and Mrs. Dickens's maid Ann occupied 
the front seat facing us. Mr. Dickens on his side, and 
I on mine, kept a sharp look-out ahead as well as we 
could, and when we saw as we did almost every minute 
an uncommonly large hole into which the wheels must 
go, we shouted ' Corduroy ! ' and prepared ourselves 
for the shock. But preparation was of little avail, for 
with all our strength we found it impossible to keep our 
places, but were constantly tumbling upon each other 
and picking ourselves up from the bottom of the coach. 
At last we got through the swamp, and thankfully left 
the ' Corduroy ' behind us. As night came on a smart 
thunder-shower passed over us, and by the gleams of 
lightning we followed the winding forest road. The 
driver told us we should reach Upper Sandusky a little 
before midnight and stop there till morning. This was 
good news, for perhaps there never yet was a set of 
travellers more utterly worn out than ourselves. We 
looked forward with pleasure to supper, good clean 
beds and a few hours' sleep. The time seemed very 
long, but at last, about eleven o'clock, when yet a mile 
or more from the place, our driver began to blow his 
horn to rouse the people at the tavern. In due time we 
arrived. The log tavern was a long, low structure, a 



230 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

storey and a half high. We got out of the coach, sore and 
lame, and soon sat down to a supper of bacon, bread and 
butter and hot tea. Mr. and Mrs. Dickens had a room 
on the ground floor, and into it all the trunks and 
baggage including overcoats and shawls were carried. 
Mr. Dickens called my attention to the fact that there 
were no fastenings to either of the doors of his room, 
but said, ' I can pile all the trunks up against the doors, 
and no one can possibly get in without waking us.' Mrs. 
Dickens was naturally rather nervous, for the place 
certainly looked new and strange. We heard that an 
' Indian Council ' had just been held at the lodge near 
by and there were hundreds of Indians at that time in 
the vicinity, and everything looked like being in a wild 
and uncivilized country. 

"So ' Boz ' and his wife went thankfully to rest, and 
the landlord, lighting a taflow candle, showed me up a 
flight of outer stairs into the chamber or loft of the 
cabin. There were two beds in the room, and one was 
already occupied by a man who snored in splendid 
style. I was too tired to mind that, and got into bed 
as soon as possible. But it was useless to try to sleep. 
The bed literally swarmed with bugs, and I found it 
impossible to close my eyes. After trying in vain for 
some time to endure the torment, I dressed and went 
down the stairs again out doors. It was in April, and 
the night air was piercing cold. I could not obtain an 
overcoat or shawl, for they were all in Mr. Dickens's 
room and I would not alarm Mrs. Dickens by trying to 
get in. So I took to the coach. It was better than 
standing out doors, but as it was lined with leather, it 
was not very warm. I spent the night in useless attempts 
to catch a nap. 

" As daylight began to glimmer ' I crowed ' very 
loudly several times, hoping that the old darkey who did 
the chores would think it was morning and get up and 
light the fires. But the ruse didn't succeed, though the 
' crowing ' was very well done, indeed. 

"As soon as it was light, I got out and crept to the 
cabin. While I was standing there, Mrs. Dickens, with 
a face full of trouble, and rubbing her wrists and hands, 



ST. LOUIS TO NEW YORK 231 

came from her room to the tin wash-basin provided for 
the public, which stood upon a stump near the door. I 
bade her good morning and asked how she had rested. 
' Oh, Mr. P.,' said she, ' I have been almost devoured 
by the bugs! ' I then related my 'experience,' which 
excited both her mirth and sympathy, and calling to 
her husband, said, ' Charles, Charles, just come here 
and listen to what Mr. P. suffered last night ! ' I then 
told my experience again without any embellishments 
none were needed and with laughter and kind words 
Mr. Dickens heard it and has duly chronicled it in his 
' notes.' 

"We had breakfast, and, the coach being ready, we 
all got in and were on the point of starting, when the 
landlord mentioned that the ' Bill wasn't paid ! ' ' The 
bill not paid? Good heavens! Mr. P., the bill not 
paid, sir ! Why, how is this ? I hope you have not 
neglected it before, have you ? ' 

" I apologized to the landlord and explained that I had 
never before forgotten to pay all bills ; but having spent 
the night in the coach, I had no consciousness of having 
stopped anywhere or owing anything; with which ex- 
planation Mr. Dickens nodded and smiled his satis- 
faction. The landlord, however, seemed not well 
pleased, but received his money sullenly, and we went 
on our way. 

"Our stage-coach ride across Ohio ended at Tiffin, a 
small town which we reached about noon, from whence 
was a railroad to Sandusky City on Lake Erie. The 
good landlord at Tiffin, finding who were his guests, did 
his best to please, and also to let the entire town know 
that ' Dickens was at his hotel.' And when we left the 
house for the depot, he had a large kind of wagon on 
springs, with seats very high, on which Mr. and Mrs. 
Dickens were placed. I think the driver was instructed 
to pass through all the principal streets of the place 
before he reached the railroad station, for we went at 
a slow pace and were a long time going; and the people 
awaited us in groups, as if by appointment, at the street 
corners and at the windows and doors of the houses ; 
and if the inhabitants of Tiffin, Ohio, did not on that 



232 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

occasion see ' Boz ' and his wife, it certainly was not the 
fault of that good landlord or of his carriage driver. 

"The change from coach and corduroy to the rail was 
most grateful, and in the evening we reached Sandusky 
City. A lake steamer made her appearance in the 
harbour the next day, and we embarked for Buffalo. 

"At Buffalo our travellers gladly welcomed their 
letters from home which were awaiting them there, and 
it was here that Mr. Dickens received from Carlyle and 
other eminent English writers the letters endorsing his 
views upon the subject of ' International Copyright 
Law.' 

"It was but a short ride from Buffalo to Niagara. 
Mr. Dickens had been repeatedly warned not to expect 
too much of Niagara and told that people were often 
disappointed in their anticipation of the grandeur of the 
scene. 

"As we crossed on the ferry-boat, Dickens gazed at 
the falls in astonishment ! When midway over, he 
looked around for a few moments and said solemnly, as 
if to himself, ' Great God ! How can any man be 
disappointed at this ! ' 

" Rooms had been engaged at the Clifton House, and 
now the tired travellers looked forward to a season of 
perfect rest and quiet. In this they were not disap- 
pointed. It was much too early in the season for visitors, 
and with the exception of a few English officers and 
gentlemen residing in the neighbourhood, there was no 
company to call upon them. The time allotted to be 
spent at Niagara was full of pure enjoyment, and when 
it was over they started for Toronto, thence to Kings- 
ton, Montreal and Quebec. At all these places Mr. 
Dickens and his wife were most cordially received by 
the government officials, officers of the army, and the 
resident English population. The time was pleasantly 
passed in rides and visits, and also in some private 
theatricals, in which Mr. Dickens and several English 
officers took part." 

Dickens left for Niagara Falls on the afternoon of 
Tuesday, April 26, and remained in Canada until 



ST. LOUIS TO NEW YORK 233 

Monday, May 30, when he left Montreal for New York, 
and as everything in Canada was entirely to his satis- 
faction no effort has been made to collect the newspaper 
accounts of his stay in British America. 

He arrived in New York on the afternoon of Wed- 
nesday, June i, where he remained that night, and the 
next morning went back up the Hudson River to visit 
the Shaker village, Lebanon and West Point, returning 
to New York on Monday. The stay in Canada and 
return trip to New York are all fully described in 
American Notes and in his letters to Forster. 

Dickens left New York for home on Tuesday, June 7, 
on the sailing vessel George Washington. The New 
York newspapers made no mention other than the simple 
fact that he had sailed. Mr. Philip Hone, who was 
one of a number of American friends who went aboard 
the boat to bid the Dickens party farewell, writes in his 
diary under date of June 8 as follows 

"Yesterday was quite a day of jubilee with me. On 
coming down to breakfast I found a kind note from 
Mr. James G. King, to attend, with one of my lady 
folk, a parting breakfast given at Highwood, to Mr. 
and Mrs. Charles Dickens. Margaret and I went over 
at ten o'clock, where we found the Boz and Bozzess, 
Mr. and Mrs. Archibald Gracie, Miss Wilkes and the 
Doctor, Mr. and Mrs. Golden, Miss Ward and the 
charming family of our host and hostess. We had a 
breakfast worthy of the entertainers and the enter- 
tained; and such strawberries and cream! The house 
and the grounds and the view, and the library and the 
conservatory were all more beautiful than I have ever 
seen them. Having been favoured with an invitation 
from Grinnell, Minturn & Co., the owners of the ship 
George Washington, to accompany Mr. and Mrs. 
Dickens to Sandy Hook, I left Margaret to take Mrs. 
Colden and Miss Wilkes in the barouche to town and 
was driven down to Jersey City, where by previous 
arrangements a steamboat was sent to take us aboard, 
and we embarked with a ' hurrah ' from the people 
assembled on the dock. We found on board the steam- 



234 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

boat a large party of gentlemen, among whom were the 
owners, Rev. Dr. Wainwright, Drs. Francis Cornell 
and Wilkes; Mr. Chapman of Boston; Judge Warren 
of New Bedford, Mr. Crittendon, the distinguished 
Kentucky Senator; Charles King, D. C. Golden, 
Simeon Draper, James Bowen, Harry Carey, J. Prescott 
Hall, R. M. Blatchford and his son, and other gentle- 
men a right pleasant merry company. We went de- 
lightfully down to Sandy Hook, where the ship lay at 
anchor. Soon after we came aboard a cold collation was 
spread, to which, and to an infinite number of bottles of 
champagne wine, the utmost justice was done. Speeches 
and toasts and bright sayings went round, of all which 
Dickens was the most fruitful theme. I gave his health 
in the following toast : ' Charles Dickens the welcome 
acquired by literary reputation has been confirmed and 
justified by personal intercourse.' At the conclusion 
of this jolly repast, we took leave of the passengers with 
many hearty shakings of the hands and good wishes, 
returned to the steamer, towed the ship to the point off 
Sandy Hook, and, having cast her off and given three 
cheers, returned in proper style. She went ' on her 
journeying ' and was soon out of sight, and our party 
returned to the city about six o'clock." 

About the middle of August there appeared in some 
of the New York newspapers a letter dated "July 15 
Devonshire Terrace, Parkgate," addressed "To the 
Editor of the Morning Chronicle," and signed "Charles 
Dickens." A search of the obtainable files of the New- 
York newspapers fails to discover this letter, but Mr. 
Hone in his diary gives the following extract from it 

"Though in my travels from city to city I, of course, 
found much to be pleased with and astonished at, yet 
the total difference between our good old English 
customs and the awkwardness, the uncouth manners 
and the unmitigated selfishness which you meet every- 
where in America, made my journey one of a good deal 
of annoyance. I do not think Americans, as a people, 
have much good taste. To a person brought up among 



ST. LOUIS TO NEW YORK 235 

them, and in their own way, of course, the glaring faults 
that strike a stranger do not appear; but to any well- 
bred man from abroad, the effect of the prevalent 
features of the American character is by no means 
agreeable. 

"It may be said that I, of all persons, ought to be 
blind to the dark spots of American character, treated 
as I have been by the American people. I do not agree 
with this view of the case. I did not seek their atten- 
tion, their dinners and their balls. On the contrary, 
these things were forced upon me; many times to the 
serious inconvenience of myself and my party. The 
kindness of a friend, if it is troublesome and officious, 
often annoys as much as the injuries of an enemy. The 
Americans have most of the faults of both the English 
and the French, with very few of their virtues. I never 
thought that I was petted merely for myself; but as a 
kind of a monster, to look at, and imbue my keepers 
with somewhat of the notoriety that enveloped myself. 
I can freely and confidently say that this was the case, 
almost without exception." 

Mr. Hone could not believe that a guest who had been 
so recently honoured to such an extent as Dickens could 
be guilty of such "wilful unappreciation " and "gross 
ingratitude," and wrote a letter to him calling for his 
"avowal or denial of this unworthy piece of splendid 
impudence," and on October 6 he received the following 
reply 

Broadstairs, Kent, England, 

September 16, 1842. 

MY DEAR SIR, 

I am very much obliged to you for your friendly 
letter, which I have received with real pleasure. It 
reached me last night, being forwarded from London to 
this seaside fishing town, where we are enjoying our- 
selves quietly until the end of the month. I answer it 
without an hour's delay, though I fear my reply may 
lie at the post office some days before it finds a steam 
packet to carry it across the ocean. 

The letter to which you refer is, from beginning to 



236 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

end, in every word and syllable, the cross of every t and 
the dot of every t, a most wicked and nefarious forgery. 
I have never published one word or line in reference to 
America in any quarter, except the copyright circular, 
and the unhung scoundrel who invented that astounding 
lie knew this as well as I do. It has caused me more 
pain, and more of a vague desire to take somebody by 
the throat, than such an event should perhaps have 
awakened in an honourable man. But I have not con- 
tradicted it publicly, deeming that it would not become 
my character or elevate me in my own self-respect to 
do so. I shall hope to send for your acceptance, next 
month, my American Notes. Meanwhile, and always, 
and with cordial remembrance to all friends, 
I am, my dear sir, 

Faithfully yours, 

CHARLES DICKENS. 



CHAPTER XIII 

INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT 

IT may seem to the reader that, as the question of an 
International Copyright between the United States and 
Great Britain having been settled in 1891, any extended 
reference to it at the present time might be considered 
something in the nature of a post-mortem held long 
after the corpse had been interred. That the subject, 
however, was one to which Dickens referred in no un- 
certain words whenever the opportunity presented, not 
only while in the United States, but also after his return 
to England, and as it was a subject on which the 
American papers in 1842 had much to say both for and 
against, these seem to the writer sufficient reasons for 
including a chapter on the subject in this book. 

Dickens himself, in a letter to one of his sons, has 
said that whatever he put his hands to he did with all 
his powers, and it will be seen later that while in the 
United States in 1842, so far as the subject of Inter- 
national Copyright was concerned, he was instant in 
season ; and also, as some of his critics believed, out 
of season. 

There can be no doubt as to the abstract justice of 
an International Copyright Law, and that at the time of 
his first visit to America, Dickens himself believed he 
had suffered personally by reason of the piracy of his 
books by publishers in the United States, as he himself 
said, "Of all men living, I am the greatest loser by it." 
He wrote to Mrs. Pardoe referring to the "American 
robbers," as he called the publishers : "The existing law 
allows them to reprint any English book without any 
communication whatever with the author or anybody 

237 



288 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

else. My books have all been reprinted on these agree- 
able terms." This statement was literally true, as all of 
Dickens's works were reprinted in the United States, 
most of them in monthly parts, just as soon after the 
arrival of the original numbers from England as pos- 
sible, and some of these reprints sold at as low a price 
as six cents a copy. The writer believes that while this 
resulted in a temporary loss to the author, the final 
result, although he did not reap the benefit till 1868, 
was that his books were more widely read in the United 
States than in England, where the price of the monthly 
parts was one shilling, almost twenty-five cents, or five 
dollars for the bound volume. It is doubtful whether 
Dickens would have had so many readers in th^e United 
States if it had not been for those cheap reprints. 

Horace Greeley said in the New York Tribune, during 
Dickens's visit in 1868: "The fame as a novelist which 
Mr. Dickens had already created in America, and which, 
at the best, has never yielded him anything particularly 
munificent or substantial, is become his capital stock in 
the present enterprise," a statement which his biographer 
Mr. Forster said was faithfully and truly put. This 
capital stock, as Greeley called it, earned Dickens such 
dividends that he was able to return to England after 
his second visit with about ,20,000 pounds ($100,000) 
in his pockets as the result of his readings. This amount 
was considered at the time so enormous for a lecturer or 
reader to receive that some of the comic papers published 
cartoons showing Dickens carrying home his profits in 
a carpet bag. 

Many American authors were also strongly in favour 
of an International Copyright for the reason that they 
believed it increased the number of pirated editions and, 
of course, the number of readers of the works of foreign 
authors, for as long as publishers would reprint the 
novels of such authors as Dickens, Charles Lever, Lytton 
Bulwer and others without paying any royalty, there 
was little show for the American authors' works being 
printed when the authors required a royalty. Mr. Cor- 
nelius Mathews, in his speech at the Dickens dinner in 
New York, said on this phase of the subject 



INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT 239 

*' What is the present condition of the Field of Letters 
in America? It is in a state of desperate anarchy 
without order, without system, without certainty. For 
several years past, it has been sown broadcast with 
foreign publications of every name and nature; what 
growth has ensued? No single work, so far as I can 
see, has sprung up as its legitimate result ; no addition to 
the stock of native poetry or fiction ; no tree has blos- 
somed; no solitary blade struck through the hard and 
ungrateful turf. Whatever has been produced has been 
in spite of opposition from within and without ; has been 
the bright exception, not the rule. Instead of being 
fostered and promoted, as it should be, our domestic 
literature is borne down by an immethodical and unre- 
strained republication of every foreign work that will 
bear the charges of the compositor and paper-maker." 

Several of Dickens's biographies written since his 
death have stated that the prime object of his visit in 
1842 was to agitate the passage of an International Copy- 
right Law. Some of the English critics, in reviewing 
the American Notes, made the same statement, and when 
the writer of a review of the book in the Edinburgh 
Review gave the same reason for the trip, Dickens not 
only asked the editor of that periodical to correct it, but 
he also wrote the following letter, published in The 
Times, January 16, 1843, emphatically denying the 
statement 

" Devonshire Terrace, Sundav, January 1 5. 

"To the Editor of THE TIMES. 

"SIR, 

"In your paper of Saturday you thought it worth 
while to refer to an article on my American Notes, pub- 
lished in the recent number of the Edinburgh Review, 
for the purpose of commenting on a statement of the 
reviewer's in reference to the English and American 
Press, with which 1 have no further concern than that I 
know it to be a very monstrous likening of unlike things. 

"I am anxious to give to another misrepresentation 



240 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

made by the same writer, whoever he may be which is 
personal to myself the most public and positive con- 
tradiction in my power, and shall be really obliged to 
you if you will allow me to do this through the medium 
of your columns. 

" He asserts ' That if he be rightly informed, I went 
to America as a kind of missionary in the cause of 
International Copyright.' He is wrongly informed, and 
reports without inquiry a piece of information which I 
could only characterize by using one of the shortest and 
strongest words in the language. Upon my honour, the 
assertion is destitute of any futile aspect or colouring 
of truth. 

" It occurred to me to speak (as other English travellers 
connected with literature have done before me) of the 
existing laws or want of laws on the subject of inter- 
national copyright, when I found myself in America, 
simply because, unexperienced at the time in the 
American public, I believed they would listen to the 
truth, even from one presumed to have an interest in 
stating it, and would not long refuse to recognize a 
principle of common honesty, even though it happened 
to clash with a miserably short-sighted view of their own 
profit and advantage. 

"I am, Sir, your obliged servant, 

"CHARLES DICKENS." 

When Dickens, after his first speech at the Boston 
dinner, found that his remarks on the subject had been 
met with so much opposition by some of the editors 
and publishers, he came to the conclusion that he would 
keep up the agitation and strike while the iron was hot, 
with the result that in nearly every speech he made 
thereafter he referred to the subject, and with added 
argument and fire. 

Dickens, in his speech at the Hartford dinner, again 
spoke in very strong terms, voicing his indignation on 
the subject ; and, referring to the speech, he wrote Forster 
from New York on February 24, saying : " I had no 
sooner made my second speech than such an outcry 
began, for the purpose of deterring me from doing the 






INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT 241 



like in this city, as an Englishman can form no notion 
of." The following is an extract from the Hartford 
Times, which is an example of the "outcry" Dickens 
refers to 

"Mr. Dickens alluded in his remarks to an Inter- 
national Copyright Law. In Boston he also alluded to 
the same subject, intimating that England had done her 
duty and it now remained for the United States to follow 
suit. It happens that we want no advice on the subject, 
and it will be better for Mr. Dickens if he refrains from 
introducing the subject hereafter, but it is not pleasant 
to pursue the subject further at this time." 

In the letter to Forster above quoted, Dickens wrote 
referring to the New York dinner: "The dinner com- 
mittee here (composed of the first gentlemen in America, 
remember that) were so dismayed that they besought 
me not to pursue the subject, although they every one 
agreed with me. I answered that I would. That nothing 
would deter me ; that the shame was theirs, not mine ; 
and that I would not spare them when I got home, I 
would not be silenced here. Accordingly, when the 
night came, I asserted my right, with all the means I 
could command to give it dignity, in face, matter or 
words," etc. 

It will be noted from the date of this letter (February 
24) that it was written after the dinner, which occurred 
February 19, and from the absence of any reference to 
any remarks by any of the other speakers, the inference 
would be that the subject was ignored by them, and that 
Dickens himself was the only one who said anything at 
all on the subject which he had so much at heart. Just 
why Dickens did not tell Forster that the President, 
Washington Irving, proposed the sentiment "Inter- 
national Copyright," which was responded to by Mr. 
Cornelius Mathews, is difficult to understand, for in 
other letters he had written that the best people amongst 
the authors and editors were in accord with him. The 
facts are, however, that Mr. Mathews made a very 
strong plea for the copyright, as shown by the following 
brief quotation from his address 



242 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

"Standing here to-night, the representative, in some 
humble measure, of the interests of American authors 
on the question, I say they have been treated by this 
people and government as no other of its citizens; that 
an enormous fraud practised upon their British brethren 
has been allowed so to operate upon them as to blight 
their hopes and darken their fair fame. . . . 

"By what casuistry or jurisprudence does that which 
is property in one latitude in one civilized country cease 
to be property when transferred within the limits of 
another ? " 

Mr. Mathews spoke for nearly twenty minutes on the 
subject, and concluded : " I offer you, Mr. President, 
An International Copyright the only honest turnpike 
between the readers of two great nations." 

It is difficult, at this late day, to understand how the 
dinner committee should beg Dickens not to speak on 
the subject, although they every one agreed with him, 
and then have the very subject he says they wished him 
to keep silence upon put on the programme as one of 
the set subjects to be spoken upon by one of the guests 
who was himself an American author. The only reason- 
able explanation that can be given for Dickens ignoring 
this in his letter to Forster is that his treatment by some 
of the newspapers, not only on account of his advocacy 
of the copyright, but also on account of their remarks 
about his personality, manners and attire, had so 
angered him that it was impossible for him at that time 
to speak or write on the subject in a fair or impartial 
manner. 

As an indication of how the better class of newspapers 
treated the subject, the following editorial from the New 
York Tribune, February 14, probably written by Horace 
Greeley himself, is given 

"We have heard rumours that Mr. Dickens has 
ventured to allude, in his replies to complimentary 
addresses, to the gross injustice and spoliation to which 
he and foreign authors are exposed in this country, from 
the absence of an International Copyright or some other 



INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT 243 

law protecting the rights of literary property. We trust 
he will not be deterred from speaking the frank, round 
truth by any mistaken courtesy, diffidence or misappre- 
hension of public sentiment. He ought to speak out on 
this matter, for who shall protest against robbery if 
those who are robbed may not? Here is a man who 
writes for a living, and writes nobly ; and we of this 
country greedily devour his writings, are entertained 
and instructed by them, yet refuse to protect his rights 
as an author that he may realize a single dollar from all 
their vast American sale and popularity. Is this right? 
Do we look well offering him toasts, compliments and 
other syllabub while we refuse him naked justice while 
we say that every man may take from him the fruits of 
his labours without recompense or redress ? 

"It does very well in a dinner speech to say that fame 
and popularity and all that are more than sordid gold; 
but he has a wife and four children, whom his death 
may very possibly leave destitute perhaps dependent 
for their bread while publishers who have grown rich 
on his writings roll by in their carriages; and millions 
who have been instructed by them contribute not one 
farthing to their comfort. But suppose him rich, if you 
please, the justice of the case is unaltered. He is the 
just owner of his own productions as much as though 
he had made axes or horseshoes; and the people who 
refuse to protect his right ought not to insult him with 
the mockery of thriftless praise. Let us be just, and 
then generous. Good reader ! if you think our guest 
ought to be enabled to live by and enjoy the fruits of 
his talents and toil, just put your names to a petition 
for an International Copyright Law, and then you can 
take his hand heartily if he comes your way and say, 
if need be, ' I have done what is in my power to protect 
you from robbery ! ' The passage of this act of long- 
deferred justice will be a greater tribute to his worth and 
achievements than acres of inflated compliments soaked 
in champagne." 

This editorial speaks entirely in favour of the copy- 
right solely on the grounds of the personal injustice to 
Dickens, but a week later (February 21) the Tribune 
R 2 



244 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

contained another editorial, presumably written by Horace 
Greeley, the editor, arguing in favour of the law for a 
very different reason : that of the injustice to American 
authors. 

"Justice to Authors. We publish on our last page 
the speech of Mr. Mathews in regard to International 
Copyright, for which we especially ask the consideration 
of our readers. The question is one of universal, and 
by no means trifling, interest, and is destined to attract 
attention more largely than hitherto. We must be 
permitted to add a few words in support of its positions. 

"How shall it be contended by any unwarped, in- 
genuous mind that the author has not a clear, absolute, 
indefeasible right of property in his own productions in 
every part of the world? What possible act of human 
wit or effort shall give a clear title if his does not ? How 
shall it be maintained that the man, whether citizen or 
alien, who slays the deer in the common forest, who lures 
the fish from the wild mountain stream or tracks the bee 
to his secret hive, shall have exclusive property in the 
spoils which he has appropriated from the common 
stores of the race, while the author who builds out into 
infinite space who peoples dreary chaos with the bright 
and beautiful creations of his genius, shall have none, 
but be left the prey of all who covet, and whose covet- 
ousness will, of course, be just in proportion to the 
value and productiveness of the fruit of his labours. 
The denial of protection to the rights of authors is 
not even impolitic and unjust, but a positive and flagrant 
robbery. 

"More absurd is the cavil which affirms the intangi- 
bility of literary property, the impossibility of defining 
and securing it. 

"Society submits to Law and Government mainly to 
ensure the protection of those rights which stretch out 
beyond reach of the individual's sword-arm beyond the 
range of his rifle. It is emphatically because the rights 
of the author are easily subverted that we invoke for him 
the protection of that shield which should be as broad 
as the domain of civilized existence. 



245 

"We loathe to speak of this matter in the light of 
policy when the demand of justice is so clear and urgent. 
All who are in literary vocations well know that our 
robbery of the foreign author dooms the American to 
neglect and want; for what bookseller will buy his 
manuscript when he can reprint the last popular London 
novel from fair type and shining paper without even 
the ceremony of saying ' By your leave ' ? Thus ten 
British books to one American are read by our people, 
and the intellect and taste of the country kept intermin- 
ably in colonial vassalage. 

"The author should hold his book by the same tenure 
as his wheat, if he were a farmer, or his axes if a black- 
smith. The copyright is at best a grudging restoration 
of part of what society has unjustly taken. Barnaby 
Rudge belongs to Boz, and Bracebridge Hall to Irving, 
just as clearly and perpetually as the Astor House to 
Mr. Astor or the ox to the grazier. If justice were done 
by our laws, Genius would no longer be forced by 
hunger to pander to the depravity of the age, to the 
narrow prejudice of a nation. We should no longer 
pamper Ainsworths and Marryats while famishing 

Coleridges and Wordsworths But we have not 

space to pursue this theme. People of the United 
States : We ask you to petition Congress for Justice 
to Authors. We appeal to you to urge upon our Govern- 
ment that true and lofty National Policy which aims to 
nerve the heart that beats, the arm that strikes for the 
Elevation of Man ! " 

Having started the agitation and begun the fight in 
his Boston speech, and seeing the manner in which the 
discussion was carried on in the American Press, 
Dickens was not the man to let the matter drop. One of 
the means which he adopted to add fuel to the flame is 
shown by the following extract from a letter to Forster 

"I will tell you what 7 should like, my dear friend, 
always supposing that your judgment concurs with mine, 
and that you would take the trouble to get such a docu- 
ment. I should like to have a letter addressed to me by 



248 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

the principal English authors who signed the Inter- 
national Copyright Petition, expressing their sense that 
I have done my duty in the cause. I am sure I deserve 
it, but I don't want it on that ground. It is because its 
publication in the best journals here would unquestion- 
ably do great good. As the gauntlet is down, let us 
go on." 

Forster's judgment did agree with Dickens, and he 
procured the joint letter which Dickens desired addressed 
to him personally, and also a second, with the same 
signatures, addressed "To the American People." 

The principal agitation against the Copyright Law 
came from the publishers who had been reprinting 
Dickens's works, and on April 26 a convention was 
held in Boston for the purpose of taking 1 action on a 
memorial to Congress asking that a duty be placed on 
foreign books, and also protesting against the passage 
of an International Copyright Law. The following 
extract from the Boston Mercantile Journal gives briefly 
an account of the action taken at this meeting, and a 
synopsis of the memorial 

"Convention of the Book Trade. The Convention of 
persons engaged in the manufacture of books was held, 
last evening, at the hall beneath the Boston Museum. 
There were printers, publishers, type-founders, paper- 
makers, book-binders, engravers, etc., present. The 
meeting was called to order by Charles A. Wells, and 
was subsequently organized by the choice of Samuel G. 
Goodrich, President, John Prentiss of Keene (N. H.), 
and Harrison Gray of Boston, Vice-Presidents, and 
Samuel D. Warren, Secretary. 

"Mr. Goodrich, on taking the chair, said that the 
committee had taken pains to collect facts and obtain 
specific information on the subject referred to them, 
which they had incorporated in a general form into the 
Memorial, which he then accordingly read. 

"The Memorial sets forth that in fixing duties on 
foreign books, regard should be had, firstly, to the 
revenue ; secondly, to the various arts and trades depen- 



INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT 247 

dent on their production ; thirdly, the effort which may 
follow, considering books as instruments for the diffusion 
of knowledge. 

"The Memorial then takes up the subject of our Inter- 
national Copyright Law and undertakes to show by 
various arguments and reasons that the enactment of 
such a law would be impolitic, would be injurious to the 
interests of the country, is not required by justice, and 
ought not at this time to be carried into effect. Some 
interesting statistics are embodied in the Memorial, from 
which it appears that the number of persons employed 
in the various arts connected with printing and publish- 
ing is not less than 41,000 and those who are depen- 
dent upon them for their support amount to four times 
that number. The capital invested is almost $15,000,000, 
and the total productions not short of $27,000,000. 

"After the Memorial was read, Mr. Bowen of Cam- 
bridge rose and objected to the Memorial as embracing 
two subjects not necessarily connected with each other, 
viz. Protection to American Industry and International 
Copyright. He believed that many persons who would 
cheerfully agree to the sentiments expressed in the first 
part of the Memorial would disapprove of the views con- 
tained in the latter part and he therefore would move 
that the document be recommitted, with instructions to 
report one Memorial relating exclusively to the subject 
of the protection of books, printing materials, etc., and 
another, if it should be thought necessary, relating to an 
International Copyright. 

"On this question a protracted debate ensued, in which 
several gentlemen took part among them were Mr. 
Brown, Mr. Goodrich, Harrison Gray, Colonel Parker, 
J. H. Jenks and G. W. F. Mellen. The motion was 
rejected. A motion was then made by another gentleman 
to strike out that part of the Memorial relating to the 
International Copyright Law. This was also rejected by 
an overwhelming vote. The Memorial was finally 
adopted with only a trifling modification." 

Dickens, on February 24, wrote Forster a letter in 
which he said regarding the proposed law : " Washingv 



248 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

ton Irving, Prescott, Hoffman, Bryant, Halleck, Dana, 
Washington Allison, every man who writes in this 
country, is devoted to the question, yet not one of them 
dares to raise his voice and complain of the law." 

Dickens's agitation of the subject, however, must have 
given these authors courage and overcome their timidity, 
for later they all signed a memorial to Congress in favour 
of the proposed law, and Dickens himself carried this 
memorial to Washington to Henry Clay, who was to 
present it to the Senate. Dickens wrote Forster regarding 
this memorial, that he was going to assist Mr. Kennedy, 
the Chairman of the Committee of the House of Repre- 
sentatives, in writing the report favouring its passage. 

On April 29 Dickens wrote from Niagara Falls to his 
Boston friend, Mr. C. C. Felton, a letter enclosing four 
copies of some document relating to International Copy- 
right, in which he said : " My first idea was, publicity 
being the object, to send one to you for a Boston news- 
paper, another to Bryant for his paper, a third to the 
New York Herald (because of its larger circulation), and 
a fourth to a highly respectable journal at Washington 
(the property of a gentleman and a fine fellow named 
Seaton, whom I know there), which I think is called the 
Intelligencer. . . . 

"Whether to limit its publication to one journal, or 
to extend it to several, is a question so very difficult of 
decision to a stranger that I have finally resolved to 
send these papers to you and ask you (mindful of the 
conversation we had on this head one day in that 
renowned oyster cellar) to resolve the point for me. . . . 
If you see Sommer, take him into our council. The 
only two things to be borne in mind are, first, that if 
they are to be published in several quarters, they must 
be published in all simultaneously; secondly, that I hold 
them in trust, to put them before the people." 

Dickens also wrote the next day (April 30) to the "fine 
fellow " at Washington, who was Mr. W. W. Seaton, 
the editor of the National Intelligencer of that city, 
advising him of the important documents, of which the 
following is an extract 



INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT 249 

"I have received some documents from the greatest 
writers of England, relative to the International Copy- 
right, which they call upon me to make public imme- 
diately. They have taken fire at my being misrepresented 
in such a matter, and have acted as such men should. 

"They consist of two letters, and a memorial to the 
American people signed by Bulwer, Rogers, Hallam, 
Talfourd, Sydney Smith, and so forth. Not very well 
knowing, as a stranger, whether it would be best to 
publish them in newspapers or in a literary journal, I 
have sent them to some gentlemen in Boston and have 
begged them to decide. In the event of their recommend- 
ing the first-mentioned course, I have begged them to 
send a manuscript copy to you immediately." 

It will be noticed that Dickens did not tell either Mr. 
Felton or Mr. Seaton that he himself had, through his 
friend Forster, procured the writing of these letters and 
memorials. The manner in which Dickens obtained 
these manuscripts, and procured their publication in the 
newspapers, shows that he was equally as adept in the 
means by which public sentiment is created through 
the public press as any press agent or "publicity man" 
of the great corporations of the present day. 

Felton and Seaton evidently decided to publish the 
documents in the newspapers, as they appeared in 
Bryant's paper, the New York Evening Post on May 9, 
1842, and probably in the other papers which Dickens 
mentioned, and they are here reprinted as they appeared 
in the Evening Post. 

'''Niagara Falls, April 30, 1842. 

" To the Editor of THE EVENING POST. 

"SiR I found awaiting me in the post office in 
Buffalo certain letters from England, of which the 
following are copies. I ask the favour of you that you 
will publish them in your columns; and I do so in 
order that the people of America will understand that 
the sentiments that I have expressed on all public occa- 



sions since I have been in these United States, in refer- 
ence to a law of International Copyright, are not merely 
my individual sentiments, but are, without any qualifica- 
tion, statement or reserve, the opinions of the great body 
of British authors represented by the distinguished men 
whose signatures are attached to these documents. 

"That they are also the opinions of the native writers 
of America they have sufficiently shown in their earnest 
petitions in the legislatures upon this subject. 

"I would beg to lay particular stress upon the letter 
from Mr. Carlyle ; not only because the plain and manly 
truth it speaks is calculated, I should conceive, to arrest 
attention and respect in my country, and most of all in 
this, but because his creed in this respect is, without the 
abatement of one jot or atom, mine. And because I have 
never considered, and never will consider, this question 
in any other light than as plain right or wrong justice 
or injustice. 

" I am, sir, your faithful servant, 

"CHARLES DICKENS." 



"London, March 28, 1842. 

"DEAR DICKENS, 

"The deep interest we take in the efforts you have 
been making for the cause of International Copyright 
impels us to express to you our earnest sympathies with 
your cause and cordial wishes for its success. Our 
feeling, like your own, is not prompted by a desire that 
authors on this side of the Atlantic should obtain some 
palpable reward of their industry from the mighty public 
who enjoy its fruits but is established by the conviction 
that on the issue depends the question whether the intel- 
lect of America shall speedily be embodied in a literature 
worthy of its new-born powers or shall be permitted 
to languish under disadvantages which may long deprive 
the world of the full development of its greatness. 
Assured that in promoting this object you will make 
the best return for that generous appreciation which 
your genius has received from our Transatlantic 



INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT 251 

brethren, and which we have learned with grateful and 
unmingled delight, 

"We are your obliged and grateful servants 

" Edward Lytton Bulwer. Henry Hallam. 

Thomas Campbell. Sydney Smith. 

Alfred Tennyson. H. H. Milman. 

T. N. Talfourd. Samuel Rogers. 

Thomas Hood. John Forster. 

Leigh Hunt. Barry Cornwall. 

"To CHARLES DICKENS, Esquire, 
" United States." 



"To THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. 

"We, the undersigned, in transmitting to one of 
our most eminent English authors the following 
memorial for an International Copyright between the 
United States and Great Britain, are willing that our 
claims should be considered part of our interests in 
urging them. 

"Addressing a great nation chiefly united to us by 
a common ancestry ; speaking the same language and 
indebted to the same hereditary sources for models in 
literature and authorities in science, we venture to hope 
that a prayer which asks for labours not less useful to 
America than Great Britain, those rewards which can 
only be proportionate to the estimation in which, by 
Americans, the labours may be held, will need little 
argument to advance it with the legislature and people 
of the United States, provided that no counterbalancing 
disadvantage can be proved to arise from its concession. 

" Independently of grace or generosity to ourselves, we 
conclude that the question of International Copyright 
can only be viewed by enlightened Americans first, 
as affecting the interests of American authors ; secondly, 
as influencing those of the American reading public. 

"With regard to the first, we respectfully submit 
that a greater curse cannot be inflicted on American 
authors nor a more serious injury on American litera- 
ture than a state of law which admits gratuitously the 
works of foreign authors in the same language. It is 



252 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

impossible that an American writer can hope for 
adequate remuneration in any branch of literature so 
long as he can be met by the publishers with a declara- 
tion that they can publish the best English works with- 
out paying a farthing for the copyrights. The necessary 
consequence must be that the energy of American 
industry and genius, so remarkable in every other 
department of human intellect, will be greatly chilled 
and oppressed in the general departments of literature. 
Against all possible exertion of native authors is arrayed 
a wholesale system of competition existing only by 
means of piracy and smuggling. And we are con- 
vinced that the ultimate consequences of inundating the 
American market with English works, for which no 
remuneration is paid to the author, must be the 
extinction of American literature as an adequate, 
honourable and independent profession. 

"With regard to the second the only interest the 
American public have is in the supply of English works 
in as cheap a form as at present, and there can be no 
doubt that this would continue to be the case were a 
copyright established. Works are sold at a low or high 
price, not in proportion as there is a copyright or not, 
but in proportion as they can obtain a larger or smaller 
community of readers. The noble cultivation of the 
American people, which forms a reading public almost 
commensurate with the entire population, renders it 
the obvious interest of every author (and every pub- 
lisher) to adapt his price to the means of all his readers, 
and we venture to predict that were an International 
Copyright established not one popular English work 
would be sold in the United States at a higher price 
than at present. So far, if this be true, the American 
public will be no losers. But will they be no gainers 
if they have removed from their own writers and men 
of genius the great impediment to a purely national 
literature ? 

"We do not pause to inquire if there be any separate 
or oligarchical interests against us in this great ques- 
tion ; because we venture to trust that in a country, the 
institutions of which are based on foundations so broad, 






INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT 258 

the minor and selfish interests which cannot be sup- 
ported by simple justice are not suffered to prevail. 
And also, because we cannot conceive that concession 
to our prayer would disturb or invade one solitary 
vested right. 

"On the other hand, in our sanguine anticipations 
from a legislature willing to be just to others, and 
honourably jealous of the fame of the people it repre- 
sents in arts and letters, no less than in arms and 
commerce we look forward with pleasure to the new 
and firm bond that the law we pray for must establish 
between our American brotherhood and ourselves. Such 
a law must naturally and obviously bind the large body 
of our writers to peace and amity with the public they 
may then justly consider as their own, and whatever 
tends to connect the intelligence of one country with 
that of another must exert a deeper and more permanent 
influence than they who superficially regard this ques- 
tion as one of mere pecuniary profit to English authors 
can foresee upon the tranquillity and civilization of the 
world. 

"Edward Lytton Bulwer. Henry Hallam. 

Thomas Campbell. Sydney Smith. 

Alfred Tennyson. H. H. Milman. 

T. N. Talfourd. Samuel Rogers. 

Thomas Hood. John Forster. 

Leigh Hunt. Barry Cornwall." 



" Templeland (for Lonaon), 

"March 26, 1842. 

" MY DEAR SIR, 

"We learn by the newspapers that you every- 
where, in America, stir up the question of International 
Copyright, and thereby awaken huge dissonance where 
all else were triumphant unison for you. I am asked 
my opinion of the matter and requested to write it 
down in words. 

"Several years ago, if memory err not, I was one 
of the many English writers who, under the auspices 
of Miss Martineau, did sign a petition to Congress 



254 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

praying for an International Copyright between the 
two nations, which properly are not two nations but 
one indivisible by Parliament, Congress or any kind 
of human law or diplomacy, being already united by 
Heaven's act of Parliament and the everlasting law of 
Nature and fact. To that opinion I still adhere and 
am like to continue it. 

"In discussion of the matter before any Congress or 
Parliament, manifold considerations and argumenta- 
tions will arise which are to me not interesting nor 
essential for helping me to a decision. They respect 
the time and manner in which the thing should be, not 
at all whether the thing should be or not. In an ancient 
Book, reverenced, I should hope, on both sides of the 
ocean, it was thousands of years ago written down in 
the most decided and explicit manner, ' Thou shalt not 
steal.' That thou belongest to a different ' nation ' and 
can steal without being certainly hanged for it gives 
thee no permission to steal. Thou shalt not in any 
wise steal at all ! So it is written down for Nations and 
for Men in the Law Book of the Maker of this universe. 
Nay, poor Jeremy Bentham and others step in here and 
would demonstrate that it is actually our true con- 
venience and expediency not to steal. Which I, for my 
share on the great scale, and on the small, and in all 
conceivable scales and shapes, do also firmly believe it 
to be. For example, if nations abstained from stealing, 
what need were there of fighting with its butcherings 
and burnings, decidedly the most expensive thing in 
this world? How much more two nations which, as I 
said, are but one nation, knit in a thousand ways by 
Nature and Practical Intercourse, individual brother 
elements of the same great Saxondom to which in all 
honourable ways be long life ! 

"When Mr. Robert Roy Macgregor lived in the 
district of Menteith on a Highland border two centuries 
ago, he, for his part, found it more convenient to supply 
himself with beef by stealing it alive from the adjacent 
glens than by buying it killed in the Stirling Butcher's 
Market. It was Mr. Roy's plan of supplying himself 
with beef in those days, this of stealing it. In many a 



INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT 255 

little ' Congress ' in the district of Menteith there was 
debating, doubt it not, and much specious argumenta- 
tion this way and that before they could ascertain that, 
really and truly, buying was the best way to get your 
beef, which, however, in the long run, they did with 
one assent find it indisputably to be, and accordingly 
they hold by it to this day. 

"Wishing you a pleasant voyage and a swift and 
safe return, I remain always, 
"My dear Sir, 

"Yours very sincerely, 

"THOMAS CARLYLE. 
"To CHARLES DICKENS, Esquire, 
"In the United States" 

The same issue of the Evening Post also contained 
the following editorial, which is a plea not only for 
justice to English authors and publishers, but also for 
the authors and publishers of the United States 

" We publish in this sheet several papers received this 
morning ^rom Mr. Dickens relating to the subject of an 
International Copyright. The ' Address to the American 
People,' with so many illustrious names among its 
signatures Campbell and Hallam and Rogers, Bulwer 
and others worthy to be placed by their side will be 
read with a strong and respectful interest. The letter 
of Mr. Carlyle to Mr. Dickens is highly characteristic 
of the writer. 

" It is a mistake to suppose that if we refuse to make 
an arrangement for securing to the authors of America 
and Britain a copyright in both countries, the advantage 
of the injustice would be on our side; that if wrong be 
committed for want of such an arrangement, the profits 
of the wrong will go into the pockets of American 
publishers. American authors are every year producing 
more and more works for the republication of which 
there is a demand in England. Within the last year 
the number of books written by American authors which 
have been successful in Britain is greater than that of 
foreign works which have been successful in this 



256 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

country. Robertson's work on Palestine, Stephens' 
Travels in Central America, Caltin's book on the North 
American History, Cooper's Deerslayer, the last volume 
of Bancroft's American History, several works prepared 
by Anthon for the schools here is a list of American 
works republished in England within the year which 
we might easily enlarge, and for which we should be 
puzzled to find an equivalent in w r orks written in Eng- 
land within the same time and republished here. Our 
eminent authors are still engaged in their literary 
labours. 

"Cooper, within a fortnight past, has published a 
work stamped with all the vigour of his faculties, 
Prescott is occupied in writing the History of Peru, 
Bancroft is engaged in continuing the annals of his 
native country, Sparks is still employed in his valuable 
historical labours, and Stephens is pushing his 
researches in Central America with a view of giving 
their results to the world. We were told the other 
day of a work prepared for the press by Washington 
Irving, which would have appeared ere this but for 
the difficulties in the way of securing a copyright for 
it in England as well as here. He has done this, how- 
ever, we presume, on his way to Spain. 

"The success of so many of our authors will have 
the effect of raising up a host of literary adventurers 
among us. In no part of the world are hope and emula- 
tion so easily awakened as here. There is no part of 
the world where a few brilliant examples have so power- 
ful an influence in calling up rivals and competitors in 
the same path to fortune or to fame as in this republic. 
We shall have men preparing themselves by intense 
study, and exercising their faculties to the utmost to 
reach the same eminence which has been attained by 
other authors, their countrymen, and, if possible, to go 
beyond it. In a conversation which we had the other 
day with an eminent American author, now abroad, he 
remarked that if American literature continued to make 
the same progress as it had done for twenty years past, 
the day was not very far distant when the greater 



INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT 257 

number of books designed for readers of the English 
language would be produced in America. 

"If we look back to the year 1820 and compare the 
state of authorship in our country at that time to what 
it is now; if we consider how barren our literature was 
then and how prolific it has now become; if we look at 
the quality of the works produced at the two different 
periods, and the reward received by their authors, we 
shall find ourselves obliged to admit that the prediction 
is a very probable one. 

"The plea against an international copyright, that it 
gives our publishers an advantage over those of Great 
Britain, is not true, or if true, is true for the present 
moment only. If our publishers enrich themselves at 
the expense of British authors, British publishers enrich 
themselves at the expense of ours, and will continue to 
do so from year to year until the advantage will be 
shifted from our side to theirs. The policy of our 
country is to secure for its authors the benefit of an 
International Copyright before that time arrives." 

Notwithstanding all this agitation for the copyright 
law by both English and American authors in 1842, 
it was not till 1891, nearly fifty years later, that an 
International Copyright between Great Britain and 
America was put into effect. 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 

[The account which follows is copied from the New York Tribune^ 
Monday, April 20, 1868.] 

OVER two hundred members of the Press of the 
United States, on Saturday evening at Delmonico's, 
united in a testimonial dinner to Mr. Dickens, previous 
to his departure for England. The following is the 
preliminary correspondence on the subject 

New York, Jan. 22, 1868. 

MR. CHARLES DICKENS Dear Sir : On behalf of the 
members of the Press of New York, we beg to solicit the 
pleasure of your company to dinner at such time as may 
suit your convenience, upon your return to this city in 
the coming spring. Inasmuch as Saturday evening is 
the one of all the week that the largest number of our 
busy journalists are free from business, we venture to 
suggest the appointment of that evening for the proposed 
meeting, but trust that you will not allow this suggestion 
to prevent you from designating another. 

We beg to add that it has been a rule of our meetings 
thus far that no mention be made of them in the public 
prints ; but remembering that previous to your departure 
from England to the United States you accepted an 
invitation to a dinner of which the London Press made 
notice, we shall be happy to waive our rule in case you 
should so desire, since our sole wish is to arrange the 
entertainment as may best accord with your convenience 
and preference. 

Permit us to ask the favour of an early reply to this 
note, and at the same time to tender you the sincerely 

358 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 259 

good wishes of those in behalf of whom we write, and of 
ourselves individually. 

Believe us, dear sir, very cordially your friends, 

DAVID G. CROLY AND OTHERS, COMMITTEE. 

The reply of Mr. Dickens was as follows 

Philadelphia, February I, 1868. 

DEAR SIRS I beg to acknowledge the receipt of 
your letter of the 22nd of last month, and to explain 
to you that I should have done this sooner but that I 
could not until now be sure of my engagements. 

It will give me very great pleasure to accept your 
invitation, provided that Saturday, the i8th of April 
(the only day at my disposal before my departure), 
should suit your convenience. 

In reference to your kind suggestion of your readi- 
ness to depart from your usual rule of privacy, if I 
should desire it, I assure you that I have no such wish, 
and that I leave the matter wholly in your hands. 

Very cordially reciprocating your good wishes, I am 
always, dear sirs, faithfully your friend, 

CHARLES DICKENS. 

The hour appointed was 5 o'clock p.m., at which 
time the company assembled in the parlours adjoining 
the large dining-room, appropriated to the event. At 
6 o'clock Mr. Dickens appeared, though suffering 
from a temporary illness; and, escorted by the Hon. 
Horace Greeley, who had been selected to preside, 
proceeded to the dining-hall. This room was decorated 
with the arms and flags of England and the United 
States. The guest of the evening sat at the right hand 
of the president at a table which was placed on an 
elevated dais at one side of the room; while several 
other tables were stationed at right angles with this. 
A fine band of music was in attendance in an adjoining 
room, and favoured the company with choice selections, 
and the national airs of the two countries represented by 
the distinguished guest and his entertainers. The deco- 
ration of the tables and the room was in exceedingly 
s 2 



260 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

good taste, and the rare flowers that graced the board 
filled the room with the genial breath of spring. The 
bill of fare was excellent, and by an ingenious nomen- 
clature the different dishes were made to compliment 
some well-known personages in the walks of literature. 

Among the names of gentlemen present were the 
following: Horace Greeley, Henry J. Raymond, Samuel 
Bowles of the Springfield Republican; W. H. Hurlbut, 
George William Curtis, James Parton, M. Hal- 
stead of Cincinnati, Charles Eliot Norton, George H. 
Boker, J. T. Fields, Charles F. Briggs, Putnam's 
Magazine; D. G. Croly, New York World; Richard 
D. Kimball, Oliver Johnson, The Independent; Charles 
Nordhoff, The Evening Post; John Russell Young, 
New York Tribune; John R. G. Hassard, New York 
Tribune; Professor E. L. Youmans, C. P. Dewey, 
Commercial Advertiser; General Joseph R. Hawley, 
Hartford Courant; G. W. Demars, Albany Evening 
Journal; the Reverend H. N. Fields, E. C. Stedman, 
Samuel Sinclair, New York Tribune; A. J. Schen, 
New York Tribune; F. J. Ottarson, New York Tribune; 
Colonel T. B. Thorpe, D. W. Judd, Commercial Adver- 
tiser; Dr. William A. Hammond, J. W. Simonson, 
Augustus Maverick, Evening Post; S. S. Conant, 
New York Times; George Sheppard, New York Times; 
W. W. Hardy, Philadelphia Inquirer; A. D. Richard- 
son, R. S. Chilton, C. B. Seymour, New York Times; 
F. E. Carpenter, Henry E. Sweetser, New York World; 
Charles H. Sweetser, Evening Mail; Thomas Mac- 
Elrath, J. F. Cleveland, the Hon. William Orton, 
Thomas Nast, Harper's Weekly; E. H. Clement, New 
York Tribune; Edwin De Leon, New York Citizen; 
J. Smith Homans, Banker's Magazine; Whitelaw Reid, 
Cincinnati Gazette; B. C. Howard, Evening Mail; 
W. W. Warden, Philadelphia Inquirer; William 
Stuart, Lester Wallack, J. H. Hackett, Leonard W. 
Jerome, John Bonner, J. H. Osgood, John R. Thomp- 
son, William Young, Howard M. Ticknor, J. D. 
Lippincott, Philadelphia; and S. S. McClure. 

At about 9 o'clock the president arose amid loud 
applause, and upon the restoration of silence, said 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 261 



SPEECH OF MR. GREELEY 

Gentlemen of the American Press : It is now a little 
more than twenty-four years since I, a young printer, 
recently located in the City of New York, had the 
audacity to undertake the editing and publishing a 
weekly newspaper for the first time. Looking around 
at that day for materials with which to make an en- 
gaging appearance before the public, among the London 
magazines which I purchased for the occasion was The 
Old Monthly, containing a story by a then unknown 
writer known to us only by the quaint designation of 
"Boz." (Great applause.) That story, entitled, I think, 
at that time "Delicate Attentions," but in its present 
form entitled "Mr. Watkins Tottle," I selected and 
published in the first number of the first journal with 
which my name was connected. (Applause.) Pickwick 
was then an uncomical, if not uncreated character. 
(Laughter.) Sam Weller had not yet arisen to increase 
the mirth of the Anglo-Saxon race. (Cheers.) We had 
not heard as we have since heard of the writer of those 
sketches, whose career then I may claim to have in 
some sort commenced with my own (great laughter) ; 
and the relation of admirer and admired has continued 
from that day to the present. (Applause.) I am one 
of not more than twenty of the present company who 
welcomed him in this country on an occasion like this 
a quarter of a century ago. When I came to visit 
Europe, now seventeen years ago, one of my most 
pleasant experiences there, and one of my pleasantest 
recollections of Europe, is that of buying in one of the 
furthest cities I visited the city of Venice on the 
Adriatic an Italian newspaper, and amusing myself 
with what I could not read (laughter) a translation of 
David Copperfield, wherein the dialogue between Ham 
and Peggotty, with which I was familiar in English, 
was rendered into very amusing Italian. (Laughter and 
applause.) And so, friends, I claim a sort of humble 
connection with the prophet and priest of humanity 



262 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

who is our guest this evening (applause) the man 
who, best in this generation when many have worthily 
attempted to preach from that magnificent text of the 
ploughman-poet of the world, "A man's a man for a* 
that," has preached the best sermon from that text, and 
perhaps, I may say the most also whose works from 
first to last have been instinct with not only the still, 
sad music of humanity such as one only one strain of 
the great epoch of the time; but with the cheering, 
hopeful, triumphant music of humanity also; the 
humanity of the future, the elevated, enlightened and 
glorified humanity which must and shall yet be. 
(Applause.) Friends and fellow-labourers, we honour 
ourselves to-night in honouring the most successful, 
the most thoroughly successful, literary man of our 
time. (Applause.) A man who, we may say, is not 
ashamed of having come up, as most of us have come 
up, from the lower rounds of the ladder of the Press, 
and though none of us have reached such a height as 
he has, still, I say his success is a sign of hope and 
encouragement to every one of us. We are successful 
in his triumph. We have each in seeing what he has 
done, how nobly, how worthily he has done it, with 
what thorough success he has preached the gospel of 
humanity, until even nobles and kings have listened in 
admiration I say we have in this success of his an 
encouragement to every one of us, saying, "Go up 
higher " ; do not fear to say your best, for there has 
been created a public (if there was not a public thirty 
years ago) ready and eager to listen to the noblest and 
most humanizing thoughts which the best of us is now 
prepared to put before the public. Friends and fellow- 
labourers, as I am to set you an example to-night of a 
short speech, I will, without further prelude, ask you 
to join me in this sentiment : " Health and happiness, 
honour and generous, because just, recompense to our 
friend and guest, Charles Dickens." (Tremendous 
applause and three hearty cheers for Charles Dickens.) 






PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 263 



RESPONSE OF MR. DICKENS 

Gentlemen, I cannot do better than take my cue 
from your distinguished president, and refer in my first 
remarks to his remarks in connection with the old 
natural association between you and me. When I 
received an invitation from a private association of 
working members of the Press of New York to dine 
with them to-day, I accepted that compliment in grate- 
ful remembrance of a calling that was once my own, 
and in loyal sympathy for the brotherhood which, in 
the spirit, I have never quitted. ("Good, good! " and 
applause.) To the wholesome training of severe news- 
paper work when I was a very young man I constantly 
refer my first successes; and my sons will hereafter 
testify of their father that he was always steadily proud 
of that ladder by which he rose. (Great applause.) If 
it were otherwise, I should have but a very poor opinion 
of their father, which, perhaps, upon the whole, I have 
not. (Laughter and cheers.) Hence, gentlemen, under 
any circumstances, this company would have been 
exceptionally interesting and gratifying to me. But, 
whereas I supposed that, like the fairies' pavilion in 
the Arabian Nights, it would be but a mere handful, 
and I find it turns out, like the same elastic pavilion, 
capable of comprehending a multitude, so much the 
more proud am I of the honour of being your guest; 
for you will readily believe that the more widely repre- 
sentative of the Press in America my entertainers are, 
the more I must feel the goodwill and the kindly 
sentiments toward me of that vast institution. 
(Applause.) Gentlemen, so much of my voice has 
lately been heard in the land, and I have, for upwards 
of four hard winter months, so contended against what 
I have been sometimes quite admiringly assured was 
a "true American catarrh" (laughter) a possession 
which I have throughout highly appreciated (renewed 
laughter) though I might have preferred to be natural- 
ized by any other outward and visible signs (shouts 






264 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

of laughter) I say, gentlemen, so much of my voice 
has lately been heard that I might have been contented 
with troubling you no further from my present standing- 
point, were it not a duty with which I henceforth charge 
myself, not only here, but on every suitable occasion, 
whatsoever and wheresoever, to express my high and 
grateful sense of my second reception in America, and 
to bear my honest testimony to the national generosity 
and magnanimity. (Great applause.) Also, to declare 
how astounded I have been by the amazing changes 
that I have seen around me on every side, changes 
moral, changes physical, changes in the amount of land 
subdued and peopled, changes in the rise of vast new 
cities, changes in" the growth of older cities, almost out 
of recognition, changes in the graces and amenities of 
life, changes in the Press, without whose advancement 
no advancement can take place anywhere. (Applause.) 
Nor am I, believe me, so arrogant as to suppose that 
in the five-and-twenty years there have been no changes 
in me, and that I have nothing to learn and no extreme 
impressions to correct when I was here first. (A voice, 
"Noble ! " and applause.) 

And, gentlemen, this brings me to a point on which 
I have, ever since I landed here last November, observed 
a strict silence, though tempted sometimes to break it, 
but in reference to which I will, with your good leave, 
take you into my confidence now. (Laughter and 
applause and cries of "Silence.") Even the Press, being 
human (laughter) may be sometimes mistaken or mis- 
informed, and I rather think that I have in one or two 
rare instances known its information to be not perfectly 
accurate with reference to myself. (Laughter and 
applause.) Indeed, I have now and again been more 
surprised by printed news that I have read of myself, 
than by any printed news that I have ever read in my 
present state of existence. (Laughter.) Thus, the 
vigour and perseverance with which I have for some 
months past been collecting materials for, and hammer- 
ing away on a new book on America, has much 
astounded me (renewed laughter) seeing that all that 
time it has been perfectly well known to my publishers 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 265 

on both sides of the Atlantic that I positively declared 
that no consideration on earth should induce me to 
write one. But what I have intended, what I have 
resolved upon (and this is the confidence I seek to place 
in you) is, on my return to England, in my own person, 
to bear, for the behoof of my countrymen, such testi- 
mony to the gigantic changes in this country as I have 
hinted at to-night. (Immense applause.) Also, to 
record that wherever I have been, in the smallest places 
equally with the largest, I have been received with 
unsurpassable politeness, delicacy, sweet temper, hos- 
pitality, consideration, and with unsurpassable respect 
for the privacy daily enforced upon me by the nature 
of my avocation here and the state of my health. 
(Applause.) This testimony, so long as I live, and so 
long as my descendants have any legal right in my 
books, I shall cause to be republished as an appendix 
to every copy of those two books of mine in which I 
have referred to America. (Tremendous applause.) 
And this I will do and cause to be done, not in mere 
love and thankfulness, but because I regard it as an 
act of plain justice and honour. ("Bravo ! " and cheers.) 
Gentlemen, the transition from my own feelings 
toward and interest in America to those of the mass 
of my countrymen seems to be a natural one; but 
whether or no I make it with an express object. I was 
asked in this very city, about last Christmas-time, 
whether an American was not at some disadvantage in 
England as a foreigner. The notion of an American 
being regarded in England as a foreigner at all, of his 
ever being thought of or spoken of in that character, 
was so uncommonly incongruous and absurd to me 
that my gravity was, for the moment, quite over- 
powered. (Laughter.) As soon as it was restored, I 
said that for years and years past I hoped I had had 
as many American friends, and had received as many 
American visitors, as almost any Englishman living 
(applause) and that my unvarying experience, forti- 
fied by theirs, was that it was enough in England to 
be an American to be received with the readiest respect 
and recognition anywhere. Hereupon, out of half-a- 



266 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

dozen people, suddenly spoke out two, one an American 
gentleman with a cultivated taste for art who, finding 
himself on a certain Sunday outside the walls of a 
certain historical English castle famous for its pictures, 
was refused admission there, according to the strict 
rules of the establishment on that day ; but who, on 
merely representing that he was an American gentleman 
on his travels, had not to say the picture gallery but 
the whole castle was placed at his immediate disposal. 
(Laughter.) The other was a lady who, being in 
London, and having a great desire to see the famous 
Reading Room of the British Museum, was assured by 
the English family with whom she stayed that it was 
unfortunately impossible, because the place was closed 
for a week and she had only three days there. Upon 
that lady's going to the Museum, as she assured me, 
alone to the gate, self-introduced as an American lady, 
the gate flew open, as it were magically. (Laughter 
and applause.) I am unwillingly bound to add that 
she certainly was young and extremely pretty. Still, 
the porter of that institution is of an obese habit 
(laughter) and according to the best of my observation 
of him not very impressible. (Great laughter and cheer- 
ing.) Now, gentlemen, I refer to these trifles as a 
collateral assurance to you that the Englishman who 
shall humbly strive, as I hope to do, to be in England 
as faithful to America as to England herself, has no 
previous conception to contend against. ("Good, 
good ! ") Points of difference there have been, points 
of difference there are. Points of difference there 
probably will be between the two great peoples. But 
broadcast in England is sown the sentiment that these 
two peoples are essentially one (great applause) and 
that it rests with them jointly to uphold the great 
Anglo-Saxon race, to which our president has referred, 
and all its great achievements before the world. 
("Bravo! " and applause.) If I know anything of my 
countrymen and they give me credit of knowing some- 
thing if I know anything of my countrymen, gentle- 
men, the English heart is stirred by the fluttering of 
those stars and stripes as it is stirred by no other flag 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 267 

that flies except its own. (Tremendous applause and 
three cheers.) 

If I know my countrymen, in any and every relation 
toward America, they begin, not as Sir Anthony Abso- 
lute recommended that lovers should begin with a 
little aversion, but with a great liking and a profound 
respect (great applause) ; and whatever little sensitive- 
ness of the moment, or the little official passion, or the 
little official policy now or then here or there may be, 
take my word for it that the first enduring great popular 
consideration in England is a generous construction of 
justice. ("Bravo ! " and cheers.) Finally, gentlemen, and 
I say this subject to your correction, I do believe from 
the great majority of honest minds on both sides there 
cannot be absent the conviction that it would be better 
for this globe to be ridden by an earthquake, fired by 
a comet, overrun by an iceberg, and abandoned to the 
Arctic fox and bear, than that it should present the 
spectacle of those two great nations, each of whom has, 
in its own way and hour, striven so hard and success- 
fully for freedom, ever again being arrayed the one 
against the other. (Tumultuous applause, the company 
rising to its feet and greeting the sentiment with en- 
thusiasm.) Gentlemen, I cannot thank your president 
enough, or you enough, for your kind reception of my 
health and of my poor remarks; but believe me, I do 
thank you with the utmost fervour of which my soul 
is capable. (Great applause.) 

The band then played "God Save the Queen," the 
company joining with enthusiastic voices. 

The President then said : Gentlemen, our great New 
York poet whereby I do not designate Bryant nor 
Halleck, they are Yankee poets (laughter) ; I speak, of 
course, of our New York poet, Walt Whitman 
(laughter) commences his great epic with this striking 
line 

"I celebrate myself" 

(laughter) in that spirit which I may designate the 
spirit of the age (laughter). This being a dinner of 



268 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

the Press, I perceive that the Press proposes to celebrate 
itself (laughter) ; and first and foremost, as the New 
York Press was the instigator of this dinner, and is 
largely represented therein, the New York Press pro- 
poses to speak for itself. (Applause.) I ask you then, 
gentlemen, to join in the sentiment: "The New York 
Press," and I ask the Hon. Henry J. Raymond to 
respond to it. (Three cheers for Henry J. Raymond.) 



SPEECH OF MR. RAYMOND 

Mr. President and Gentlemen, it seems to me, as 
I have no doubt it seems to every one of you, that 
the Press of America ought to respond, at this moment, 
through some appropriate organ, to the noble and 
generous sentiments expressed by our guest to-night. 
I have no commission and claim no right to speak 
for the Press of the United States. (A voice: "Yes, 
you have.") I am here officially, and only officially, 
to speak for a section, a segment of that great Press. 
("No, no.") But on behalf of that section, and I think 
with the assent of the whole Press with which that 
section is so closely, so constantly, so intimately, and 
so proudly connected, I may say that w 7 e deem it an 
honour to us, the Press of New York and the Press 
of America, that we have had an opportunity to greet 
on this occasion the guest who sits at my left hand. 
(" Bravo, bravo ! ") The Press of New York, from its 
geographical position, to say nothing else, maintains a 
quasi prominence among the Press of the country. 
That Press has maintained an independent existence, 
not only in itself, but through its organization. For 
many years (if I may say many in speaking of the few 
years during which I have been connected with it) it 
has had an organization in form as a " Press Club " ; 
and it is among the most pleasant of my recollections 
in connection with the Press of New York that in that 
form of organization it has been our good fortune at 
various times to greet as guests, and to entertain, with 
whatever hospitality we were able to extend to them, 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 269 

gentlemen of distinction and position who did us the 
honour to visit us from the countries of Europe. I 
remember almost the first of those occasions when that 
truly great man, then recently expelled from the office 
of Governor of Hungary, Kossuth, the exile (applause) 
came to this country, and charmed so many of our 
people by the seashore and in the depths of the densest 
wilderness of the West, and in great cities, and every- 
where he went, by the silver voice in which he uttered 
such sweet words in behalf of liberty and freedom, and 
by that sad, solemn eye with which, as our eloquent 
orator Rufus Choate has said, "he seemed constantly 
to be beholding the sad procession of unnamed demi- 
gods who had died for their native land." He was one 
of the most honoured guests of the New York Press. 
Then came to us and honoured us by his presence, as 
he had honoured England and the world by his services, 
that great statesman whom your people serve [turning 
to Mr. Dickens], now honour as they honour few among 
their dead or their living, Richard Cobden. (Great 
applause.) Then, too, came to us, and greeted us with 
the right hand of brotherhood, your great brother in 
literature, William M. Thackeray. (Renewed applause.) 
And, I may say, of the many things that touched the 
hearts of our people, none touched them more nearly, 
or struck home more closely, than the feeling and 
eloquent words of the heart in which he spoke to us 
of his brother in letters, Charles Dickens. (Great cheer- 
ing.) We did not need, sir, that he should tell us how 
much that name was cherished by the lovers of humanity 
all the world over, wherever the English tongue was 
spoken or read; but he never said one word in praise 
of that name that did not meet with as hearty a response 
here as human words ever brought from human hearts. 
He told us then, what was true then, and what has 
been growing more and more true ever since, that the 
writings of that illustrious brother of his in the world 
of letters had done more than any other event or occur- 
rence more than any other service, which he could call 
to mind to make the men of the world feel that they 
were brothers, that they had common interests, that 



they were all sons of one father, striving and mounting 
toward one end, and that each deserved and ought to 
have the love, the sympathy, the cordial good offices 
and kindly feeling of every other. (Applause.) These, 
sir, are among the felicities of the New York Press. 
The Press of other parts of the country have enjoyed 
them also to a greater or less extent, and I know they 
have all sympathized with the feelings which pervaded 
our hearts at our good fortune in meeting such men, 
and hearing them speak such words of brotherly kind- 
ness and love. The president, the honourable, the 
distinguished and honoured president on this occasion 
has spoken in words which I know came from his heart, 
as they reached all our hearts, of the service rendered 
the causes of humanity by our guest this evening. We 
are all labouring in a common cause. I think it may 
be truly said that the Press, the free Press, all over 
the world, has but one common mission to elevate 
humanity. It takes the side of the humble, the lowly 
and the poor always of necessity, a necessity of its 
own existence as against those who from mere position 
and power hold in their hands the destinies of the lowly 
and the poor for whom the Press is instituted. We are 
all of us more or less directly, more or less exclusively, 
connected with the movements of governments govern- 
ments of various forms in different parts of the world, 
and through different agencies and ways in that common 
effort to elevate the great mass of our fellow-men, to 
improve their material condition, and give them a higher 
ground to stand upon and a stronger foot to go through 
the weary task that all of us, in some degree, have to 
undergo before we fulfil our pilgrimage here on earth. 
But it often strikes me when I think of the labours of 
governments and the labours of those who try to aid 
governments, and when I contrast them with the fruits 
of the efforts and the machinery through which literary 
men labour for the same common end it often strikes 
me how coarse and crude and ineffective is the whole 
machinery of government to accomplish the great end 
of elevating humanity. It is not through machinery, 
it is not through organizations, through forms, through 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 271 

constraints, through laws, that we touch the real strings 
of human action. (Applause.) It is not through those 
agencies that we learn what it is that elevates humanity, 
what it is that purifies it, what it is that brings all men 
to think themselves brothers and act toward each other 
as brothers. It is those who deal with the secret springs 
of actions, who through the channels of fiction or of 
congenial and sympathetic history touch the springs of 
the human heart, and make us feel, as well as convince 
our intellect; it is those who do most who carry the 
world on to what we all believe to be its ultimate destina- 
tion. (Applause.) And certainly fn the Press, or out 
of the Press, in government or out of government, 
nowhere on the face of the earth, in any form or in 
any shape, or through any agency, have there lived 
many men I might make it stronger if I did not 
dislike to appear extravagant have there lived many 
men who have touched so nearly the secret springs of 
action and of character of the human heart, and have 
done so much in that way to bring about that unanimity 
of human feeling, that cordiality of human brotherhood, 
as the distinguished guest whom we have here to-night. 
Everything that he has ever written I say it without 
the slightest exception of a single book, a single page, 
or a single word that has ever proceeded from his pen 
has been calculated to infuse into every human heart 
the feeling that every man was his brother and that 
the highest duty he could do to the world, and the 
highest pleasure he could confer upon himself, and the 
greatest service he could render to humanity was to 
bring that other heart, whether high or low, as close to 
his own as possible. (Applause.) What he has accom- 
plished in that way, how many human hearts he has 
thus brought together, how much of kind feeling he has 
infused throughout society, among all men, of all 
classes, high and low, rich and poor, powerful and weak 
how much he has done to infuse into them all the 
spirit of brotherhood, I know too well the poverty 
of any language I could use to attempt to describe. 
(Applause.) But I know there is not a man here, and 
there is not a man who has known any man here, who 






272 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

knows anything of his writings, who has made himself 
familiar with their spirit, or has yielded to their 
influence, who has not been made thereby a better as 
well as a wiser and prouder and kinder, nobler man. 
(Loud cheering.) Excuse the prolixity into which I 
seem to be running. I will not prolong my remarks. 
I only desire to return thanks, on behalf of the New 
York Press, for the compliment which has been paid 
it by the assembled Press of the United States. ("Go, 
go on.") I think I may fairly claim that the New 
York Press and I know no higher claim that I could 
put in for it here to-night than this that the New York 
Press from the very beginning, from the time when 
words first dropped from the pen of our illustrious 
guest, the New York Press has appreciated them, and, 
1 may add, appropriated them (laughter) ; and that the 
fruits thereof are apparent in some of the changes, the 
improvements, the advances which he has been good 
enough to speak of here to-night. We all know his char- 
acters. They seem like persons. We cherish them as 
friends. I feel as well acquainted with some of them 
yes, a great deal better acquainted with some of them 
than I do with many of the men whom I meet here 
on the streets every day of my life. I know I have 
derived more good from some of them than from any, 
or at least many, of the friends whom I meet every day. 
They do everybody good, for they are always cheerful, 
always hopeful, always earnest, always kind to every 
one ; and, in spite of all we may claim for our republican 
institutions and our equality of rights, humanity in this 
country I say it fearlessly owes more of its sub- 
stantial advances to the writings of Mr. Dickens than 
even to the Press of New York. (Laughter and 
applause.) His is a kind of public service, which is 
done without consciousness and sometimes w-ithout 
intent. Such a man writes what he knows of men, and 
what he writes addresses itself to all men. It reaches 
their hearts, and through their hearts governs their 
conduct; and that is the only government of conduct 
worth a straw anywhere. (Applause.) I think often 
of these things in connection with the noble lines of 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 273 

one of our own poets, speaking of the unconscious work 
done by the great architect of Rome in the building of 
St. Peter's ; and if you will allow me to quote those 
lines (and I am sure you will thank me for substituting 
them for anything that I could say myself), I will close 
therewith. I mean that beautiful passage in Ernerson 
where he says 

" The hand that rounded Peter's dome 
And groined the aisles of Christian Rome, 
Wrought with a sad sincerity. 
Himself from God he could not free, 
He builded better than he knew ; 
The conscious stone to beauty grew." 

The band here gave the "Star-spangled Banner," and 
the audience joined in the chorus. 

The President then said : Gentlemen, when we speak 
of the Press of New York we are too apt we gentlemen 
of the daily journals are too apt to monopolize the 
phrase as peculiarly, if not exclusively, our own. The 
Daily Press has a certain conspicuous position in the 
public eye. By means of the telegraph and its con- 
nections it seems more directly related to the leading 
minds of the country than any other portion of the 
Press; but we must remember that where one man 
reads a daily journal there are several who read a weekly 
journal (laughter) and that the position of the Daily 
Press, though important, is certainly not solitary. I 
propose the "Weekly Press," and I call upon George 
William Curtis to respond. (Great applause.) 



SPEECH OF MR. GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS 

Mr. President and Gentlemen, as I now look around 
upon this cheerful company, I like to think that this 
pleasant feast is not merely a tribute to an author whose 
books have made all his readers his friends, but is a 
fraternal greeting of welcome and farewell from us who 
are all, in various ways, reporters, to our comrade, a 
late reporter of the London Morning Chronicle, who 



274 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

shall here and now, and at no other time, and nowhere 
else in the world, be nameless. He has ceased, indeed, 
to write for the Morning Chronicle, but he has not 
ceased to be a reporter. He is a famous story-teller, 
but I ask this table of experts whether that shows him 
to be no longer a reporter? (Laughter.) He is a great 
novelist, but what are novelists ? They are men com- 
missioned by Nature to see human life and the infinite 
play of human character and write reports upon them. 
So a certain Spaniard inspected the grotesque aspect 
of decaying chivalry and wrote his famous report Don 
Quixote. (Applause.) So a certain Scotchman beheld 
the romantic splendour of the Crusader and called his 
report Ivanhoe. So a sad-eyed countryman of ours saw 
a tragic aspect in early New England life and called 
his marvellous report The Scarlet Letter. And so our 
nameless friend of the Morning Chronicle, with the 
same commission as that of Cervantes, of Scott, of 
Hawthorne, observing the various aspects of life in his 
own time, has written his prodigious series of reports, 
which have become "household words" "all the year 
round." (Loud cheering.) They have not only revealed 
wrongs, but have greatly helped to right them. One he 
called, for instance, Nicholas Nickleby, and with 
hilarious indignation Dotheboys Hall was laughed and 
cried away. Perhaps he called another Oliver Twist, 
and the cold poorhouse was turned inside out and 
warmed with the sun of human charity. Upon another 
I read Bleak House; and as I turn the pages, the 
long, bitter winter of the law's delay lies exposed. He 
turns his eye backward, and it seems to me nobody 
truly understands the terrible form and spirit of the 
French Revolution, although you may have read all 
the historians, if he has not read that wonderful report, 
The Tale of Two Cities. (Applause.) And, thank 
Heaven, the good work still goes on. (Renewed 
applause.) The eye and the heart and the hands are 
untiring. The eager world reads and reads and reads; 
and the reporter's genial magic makes it a great good- 
natured Oliver asking for more. (Cheers.) If in the 
pursuit of his calling he came to us who loved and 



PRESS DINNER; AT DELMONICO'S 275 

honoured him, he still faithfully and frankly reported 
his observations. The old proverb says nobility 
obliges. But genius obliges still more. (Applause.) 
Fidelity through his own observations is all we can 
ask of any reporter. However grateful he may be for 
our hospitality, we cannot insist that he shall pour our 
champagne into his eyes so that he cannot see (great 
laughter) nor stuff our pudding into his ears so that 
he cannot hear. (Laughter, applause.) He was obliged 
to hear and see and report many things that were not 
pleasant nor flattering. It is the fate of all reporters. 
I do not remember that those very competent observers, 
Mr. Emerson and Mr. Hawthorne, whom we sent to 
England, represented that country as altogether a para- 
dise and John Bull as a saint without blemish. 
(Laughter.) They told a great deal of truth about 
England, as it seems to me our friend told a great many 
and valuable truths about us. Naturally we did not find 
every part of his report very entertaining; but neither, 
I suppose, did Sir Leicester Dedlock find Bleak House 
very amusing, and I am sure to this day neither 
Serjeant Buzfuz nor Mr. Justice Stareleigh have ever 
been able to find the least fun in Pickwick. (Bursts 
of laughter and cheers.) For my undivided thirty- 
millionth part of the population I thank the reporter 
with all my heart, and I do not forget that if his touch, 
like the ray of a detective's lantern, sparkled for a 
moment upon some of our defects, the full splendour 
of its light has always been turned upon the sins and 
follies of his own country. (Applause.) If I seem to 
have wandered from my text, Mr. Chairman, it only 
seems so. (Cheers.) The members of the Weekly Press, 
for whom I have the honour of speaking, pursue litera- 
ture as a profession ; and I know not where we could 
study the fidelity, the industry, the conscience, the care, 
and the enthusiasm which are essential to success in 
our profession, more fitly than in the example of the 
editor of All the Year Round. M. Thiers, in a recent 
speech, says "that the world now needs every day a 
new book, written every day." Hence the newspaper. 
The responsibility of the authors of that book is enor- 

T2 



276 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

mous. The world is governed by public opinion, and 
nothing moulds that opinion more powerfully than the 
Press. Its great divisions are two the literary and the 
political. The paramount duty of the literary Press is 
purity; of the political Press, honesty. Our Copyright 
Law, as you are aware, Mr. Chairman, inflicts a fine 
for every repetition of the offence, so that the fine is 
multiplied as many times as there are copies of the book 
printed. So the man who, as a writer for the Press, 
says what he does not believe, or defends a policy that 
he does not approve, or panders to a base passion or 
a mean prejudice for a party purpose, is so many times 
a traitor to the fact represented at this table as there 
are copies of his newspaper printed; and, as honest 
or dishonest difference of opinion is entirely compatible 
with courtesy, as even denunciation is a thousandfold 
more stinging and effective when it is not vituperation, 
decency of manner no less becomes the Press than 
decency of matter. (Applause.) When the manners 
of the Press become those of Tombs pettifoggers or 
Old Bailey shysters, or the Eatansivill Gazette 
(laughter) its influence will have to be revealed by a 
coarse and brutal opinion. While we boast of the 
tremendous power of the Press, let us remember that 
the foundations of that power as a truly civilizing 
influence are, first, purity, then honesty, then sagacity 
and industry. It may sometimes seem otherwise ; but 
it is an illusion. A man may build up a great journal 
as he may amass any other great fortune, and seem to 
be a shining miracle of prosperity, but if he have neither 
love, nor honour, nor troops of friends, his prosperity 
is a fair orchard bearing only apples of Sodom. It is 
a curious and interesting fact that at an official 
investigation made a few years since in England, a news- 
paper dealer, in reply to a question of Mr. Cobden, 
gave it as the result of twenty years' experience that 
objectionable newspapers, daily or weekly, were short- 
lived; while the publications of the highest intellectual 
and moral quality constantly increased in circulation. It 
is impossible to determine the limits or the merits of 
individual agency, but there is no doubt that among 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 277 

the most vigorous forces in the elevation of the char- 
acter of the Weekly Press have been Household Words 
and All the Year Round, and since the beginning of 
the publication of Household Words the periodical 
literature of England has been born again. Mr. Chair- 
man, the obligation that, in the name of the Weekly 
Press, I wish to express to our guest is for his example 
of high fidelity and of honourable pride in his profession 
of letters. His career illustrates what Charles Lamb 
called the sanity of true genius. He has never debased 
it to unworthy ends. He has shown us that it is not a 
denizen of Bohemia only, but a citizen of the world. 
He has always honoured his profession by asserting 
its dignity in his own person. If Dr. Johnson was 
content to wait humbly, hat in hand, in Lord Chester- 
field's ante-room ; if Sir Walter Scott he of all men ! 
was proud to preserve the glass out of which George 
Fourth drank his toddy ; the late reporter of The Morn- 
ing Chronicle, when the Queen invites him 'to the palace 
to amuse her company, respectfully replies that he 
cannot come as an actor where he is not welcome as a 
guest. (Great applause.) In that spirit of common 
respect for a noble calling upon whose roll are written 
the best beloved names in history, a calling of which 
the technical Press, whether daily or weekly or monthly 
or quarterly, is but a department, let us take the hand 
of our friend at parting. Wherever he may be, what- 
ever fate befall, his name will be a kind of good tidings. 
It will always have a pleasant Christmas sound. Old 
Ocean, bear him safely over ! English hedges, welcome 
him with the blossoms of May ! English hearts, he is 
ours as he is yours ! We stand upon the shore ; we 
say farewell ; and, as he sails away, we pray with love 
and gratitude, May God bless him ! 

The President: Gentlemen, our friend who spoke 
for the Press of New York, remarked that the writings of 
our guest had not merely been appreciated but appro- 
priated here. (Laughter.) That is true, to some extent, 
of the Daily Press, to a greater extent of the Weekly 
Press. (Laughter.) But a very large section of the 
Press still remains. I have already stated that his 



278 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

writings which caught the attention of the western hemi- 
sphere appeared in a monthly periodical, and the 
monthly periodicals of both continents printed in the 
English tongue have for thirty years been largely sus- 
tained and commended to support by his contributions. 
I, therefore, propose the sentiment of the "Monthly 
Press," and require William Henry Hulbert to respond. 
(Cheers.) 

SPEECH OF WILLIAM HENRY HULBERT 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen, the Emperor Gal- 
lienus once gave a prize to a marksman because he had 
never hit a mark. I can't help thinking that this wily 
prince must have been in the minds of the committee 
when they asked me to respond to the toast which has 
just been read. For I have certainly not written, and 
I don't think I have read, a magazine article for seven 
years past. (Laughter and applause.) But if there be 
no special fitness in my responding to the toast, there 
certainly is a special fitness in the toast itself. For all 
who find comfort and value in monthly literature owe a 
great debt, both directly and indirectly, to our illus- 
trious guest. There were magazines, we all know, long 
before Boz took up his formidable pen to sketch the 
manners and customs of his fellow-creatures. But it is 
certain the range of English serial literature has been 
greatly widened and its quality greatly enriched by his 
influence. (Applause.) To those of us who were boys 
when Mr. Dickens first visited America, serial literature 
must always seem to have been in a manner his inven- 
tion. We counted time in our boyhood by dear Old 
Master Humphrey's Clock, we knew the first day of the 
month by a new number of Oliver Twist or Nicholas 
Nickleby, just as we knew the last day of the week by 
a holiday. Insatiable urchins that we were, we had no 
sooner devoured this new number which we got than, 
like Oliver, we clamoured for "more." (Laughter.) 
But unlike Oliver, we got more. We have been 
getting more ever since and I am sure I speak for all 
who hear me when I say that we are as far off now as 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 279 

we were then from getting enough. And that we hope 
we may keep on getting more, not for months, but for 
years to come. (Immense applause.) Perhaps, it would 
hardly be fair to say that we owe Mr. Dickens to 
monthly literature, as we owe Shakespeare to the theatre. 
And yet I like to believe of Mr. Dickens, as I am sure 
I believe it of Shakespeare, that he would never have 
given himself the trouble of being an author if he had 
not been tempted by opportunity. (Cheers.) The 
theatre was the opportunity of Shakespeare, and 
monthly literature of Mr. Dickens. But if monthly 
literature played the witch with Mr. Dickens, he has 
returned the compliment by playing the dickens with 
monthly literature. (Cheers.) The traces of his 
influence are over it all since first he touched its hem, 
always for good, shall I say ? no, not always for good, 
since the best of styles seduces simpletons into imitations 
which do the author more discredit than his own worst 
foibles (and the cleverest of me'n have their foibles) 
deserve. But by enlarging the scope, by elevating the 
range of literature in its relations with life, Mr. Dickens 
has wrought a real and positive good to English letters, 
and for this, monthly literature has rewarded him by 
miscellaneously and mercilessly cribbing, at least on 
this side of the Atlantic, all that he has written. Now 
this, speaking as I do, by warrant of this committee, 
for monthly literature, I hold to be a wrong demanding 
redress. If I had no other audience than the editors 
and publishers of monthly magazines, I might, I sup- 
pose, appeal in vain. (Laughter.) But I see before me 
the most complete representation which has for years 
past been assembled, or which for years to come may 
be assembled, of the real working men of the American 
Press, of the men who make, night after night and day 
after day, the broad sheets which are reeled off from the 
hundred armed giants who do our work in caves, go 
forth to all the world bearing their mingled messages 
of truth and falsehood, of the probable and improbable. 
These at best know, I am sure, and will testify, that the 
"labourer is worthy of his hire." I appeal to them 
henceforth to see to it that in season and out of season 



280 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

they lose no occasion of supporting that just and 
righteous and reasonable cause of an International Copy- 
right, of which our distinguished guest has for years 
been so faithful a defender (immense applause) and 
by the arrested, I will not say the defeated, progress of 
which not he alone has been a sufferer, but every man 
in England and America, whom his example might else 
have stimulated to authorship. (Cheers.) If the 
monthly magazines did not mean to plead for this cause, 
so much the worse for them that I am their spokesman. 
If they did, let them be grateful. And so I yield my 
place not to a worthier sentiment, but to more eloquent 
men. (Cheers.) 

The President: Gentlemen, there is a place on the 
eastern border of our continent which a high authority 
among us would probably describe as "hanging on the 
verge" of the continent (laughter) called "The Hub." 
(Laughter and cheers.) That town is known to some of 
you by description, or possibly by observation. It is 
the place where our friend and guest had the bad taste 
to land when he came here. In deference to our guest 
and his taste I propose "The Boston Press," and require 
Mr. Charles Eliot Norton to respond to it. (Applause.) 



SPEECH OF CHARLES ELIOT NORTON 

Mr. President and Gentlemen, I feel as embarrassed 
as the last speaker said he felt when he rose, in respond- 
ing to a toast to which I have little claim to answer. I 
am only indirectly connected with the Boston Press, and 
therefore I cannot speak for it as one of its members, 
who are engaged night and day in the work of preparing 
those newspapers which send out the ideas which are 
generally understood to be the governing ideas of 
America. I know that many of our notions are deri- 
sively called " Boston notions " ; but I find that after 
a time a good many of those notions become embedded 
in the civilization of the country, through what may be 
called the common schools, and also through the 
churches which everywhere mark the first springs of 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 281 

American civilization. (Applause.) I am not worthy 
to speak for the Boston Press except in one regard, and 
that is in the cordial unanimity with which that Press 
would join you to-night, will join you always, in doing 
honour not only personally to our guest, but to the 
principles which he has represented and which, in their 
real essence, I claim to be "Boston notions." There 
is one notion wrought into the very nature of every true 
New Englander and Bostonian, which is, the equal rights 
of man the claim of man upon man the broad claim 
of humanity ; and I know not any one, either in America 
or England, who has done more to secure respect for 
that " notion " than the guest whom we honour in our 
heart of hearts to-night. We claim him as by right a 
citizen of Boston, a citizen of the world (applause) ; the 
Hub of the Universe depends on him for inspiration. 
There was a humorous friend of mine who said the 
other day that if Mr. Dickens started with ten cents in 
his pocket from Cambridgeport and Cambridgeport, 
you know, is hardly allowed to be "hanging upon the 
verge " of the United States it is to Boston the "abom- 
ination of desolation " this friend of mine said that 
Mr. Dickens might start from Cambridgeport with ten 
cents in his pocket, and travel round the world, and he 
would come back no richer than when he started. 
(Laughter.) But there is something I would desire to 
say for New England, if I may consider Boston a part 
of New England, and so gain a right to speak for it. 
And what I desire to say is this, that we are glad and 
proud to bear the name of the old land which gave birth 
to Charles Dickens. (Repeated cheers.) There are two 
Englands. There is the actual England; there is the 
England of The Times newspaper; the England of 
Thackeray's Book of Snobs; well, the England which 
we do not like. And there is the real England; the 
England of the imagination and of the heart; the Eng- 
land to which no American can go without feeling a 
rapture in his heart as he thinks of the old and glorious 
memories of our race. And when he wakes in the 
morning and with keen ears hears the lark singing at 
heaven's gate, and when he takes a walk in the fields 



282 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

he sees the very haystack under which "Little Boy 
Blue " laid down to sleep, and the very meadows, too, 
where he ought to have sounded his horn but forgot to 
sound it; he will see the England which he has believed 
in and dreamed of; and it will seem to him that it is 
some old, old place where he has been in his boyhood. 
It is as familiar to him as his grandmother's garden ? 
There he will see the daisies and the cowslips which he 
has never seen since he grew up, but which belonged 
to the dreams of his youth. He will see the old, the 
real, the dear England (great cheering) transmuted 
in "the light that never was on sea or land, the con- 
secration, and the poet's dream." He will see the 
England of Chaucer, of Shakespeare, of Milton, of 
Dickens. (Cheering.) He will recognize that there is 
a responsive drop in his heart which beats quicker and 
warmer because the life which is in him springs from 
the dear old England, mother of us all. (Great 
applause.) He will return home the better, the more 
patriotic, for having seen the home of all his ancestors. 
He will return home with more faith in America, because 
he will have seen where America started; because he 
will be able to appreciate the solid foundation of right, 
the impregnable rock of justice on which all that is 
glorious in the real England of the imagination rests. 
He will come here with fresher convictions in his own 
heart, prepared to do his best for his own part, and for 
those who work with him, in carrying out those glorious 
principles which England hides in her heart, places first 
in her faith, first in her religion the principles of 
justice, of liberty, of humanity. I will not attempt to 
repeat the sentiments which we have heard from the 
eloquent lips which have preceded me, in saying how 
deeply, how earnestly, how hopefully he feels that 
between England and America is a bond which no 
earthly catastrophe can sever; but I will say that the 
idea of war between the old mother and the young, 
promising, vigorous man-child of the future is an idea 
which is enough to raze all the foundation of reason 
from its throne; and we hope it is one that he will 
never permit himself, or permit others in his presence 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 283 

to speak of. And this because of his love, not for 
England, but for humanity. There is but one more 
word to say, and it is this : that as a representative of 
one of the oldest journals of the country, I have the 
pleasure of believing that it has been during the whole 
of its career a supporter of those ideas which are most 
essentially American, and in that journal five-and-twenty 
years ago appeared one of the earliest criticisms upon 
that great genius which was to make our generation 
happy. (Applause.) And it was on that account I felt 
willing to speak at all to-night ; and that I might be able 
to add the tribute of New England, of gratitude, of 
constant love to him who, while binding this generation 
to him by affectionate respect, has had a success beyond 
that which ordinarily falls to the literary man a success 
which is not limited to England, but which binds the 
New World to him by cords that are stronger and have 
a subtler magnetism than the electric cable by feelings 
as delicate and as powerful as those which belong to 
the inmost domesticity of home. And when he returns 
to his own country he may carry back the assurance 
that the faith with which he came upon this voyage, the 
faith that he should be able to lay one chain more to 
bind those two dear lands together has been thoroughly 
fulfilled. 

The band here played "We are a Band of Brothers." 
The President: Boston is conceded to be in New 
England, and yet there is a considerable portion of New 
England outside of Boston. (Laughter.) In deference, 
therefore, to that portion, I am instructed by your 
Committee to propose as a sentiment "The New 
England Press," and require General Joseph R. Hawley, 
of the Connecticut Courant, to respond. 

REMARKS OF GENERAL J. R. HAWLEY 

Mr. Chairman, it is but a few hours, comparatively, 
since I received warning that I should be called upon, 
and as I was obliged to work diligently upon other 
matters in order to have the pleasure of being here at 



284 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

all, I had hoped to be "off duty" this evening. I feel 
somewhat as might a very respectable and very 
courteous old bachelor if he should kindly consent to 
hold a small bundle for a few minutes while the lady 
stepped round the corner, and should then find himself 
the responsible holder of a strange baby growing to be 
a very big elephant on his hands. This chair just 
vacated by my side, belongs to the gentleman who 
should have responded for the New England Press 
our excellent friend Sam Bowles of the Springfield 
Republican, the model newspaper of the Provincial 
Press. But there will be one merit brevity in what 
I shall have to say. One still July afternoon the city 
items man of the journal upon which I work, in despair 
of matter for his column, sat meditatively observing a 
small boy climbing up to and upon the figure of 
Madame Justice upon the state-house cupola. Said he, 
" If that boy should fall he would make about so much " 
measuring a "stickful " on his finger. (Great 
laughter.) If I were to speak of and not for the New 
England Press, perhaps I may claim New England has 
spoken already, and speaks for herself through her news- 
papers everywhere. The honoured chairman (Mr. 
Greeley) is one of our New England boys, and so also 
is the gentleman who has just spoken so eloquently upon 
the right of our distinguished guest [Mr. Raymond 
shook his head]. Well, we certainly educated him, and 
I thought, from his versatile and characteristic ability, 
that he must be one of our own Yankees. The vener- 
ated senior of the Post, whose absence we all regret, 
went from us, and the able editors of the World and 
the Journal of Commerce, and the other eloquent gentle- 
man upon my left (Mr. Curtis) were ours. There is 
then little necessity that I should continue. But I am 
right glad and proud to have an opportunity of grate- 
fully acknowledging our indebtedness to Mr. Dickens. 
Twenty-five years ago, as a school-boy, I hung upon 
the timbers of a bridge that I might have a fair oppor- 
tunity to look upon the man whose books were my 
delight above all others, and I could not have dreamed 
that after such a lapse of time I should have the happi- 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 285 

ness of thanking him. It is sometimes said that there 
is something rigid and severe in the traditional New 
England character, that we have been unable to see it 
as clearly as our critics outside. Whether it be so or 
not, I do most heartily thank him on behalf of many 
thousands of Yankee boys who have grown up his 
devoted readers and admirers, and whom he has for a 
generation wonderfully delighted and greatly instructed ; 
whom he has taught to look tenderly upon the weaker 
side of humanity; whom he has taught that it is not 
unmanly to cry, and certainly not to laugh heartily. 
Those who have preceded me have spoken of the debt 
we owe him. Newspaper men ow r e no small share of it. 
What a deal of trouble it saves us, for example, to say 
of an opponent that he is Pecksniffian ! You anticipate 
me by seeing at a glance the numberless instances in 
which a word upon Dickens by a sort of stenographic 
system of allusions and characterizations well compre- 
hended by a universal public saves you whole columns 
of writing. Yes, the whole people owe him a debt that 
we shall never be able to discharge. Sir Walter Scott, 
dismounting at an inn, and being unable to find in his 
pocket the customary sixpence, threw to the ostler a 
shilling. "There," said he, "you will owe me a six- 
pence." "May your honour," was the response, "live 
and prosper until I pay it." Our guest, when he goes 
back to his own home, will, I am very sure from what 
we have seen and heard, bear with him a kindly remem- 
brance of this country. We have not the assurance to 
ask him to say of us anything so hearty, enthusiastic, 
and complimentary as we say of ourselves. (Laughter.) 
If he will even considerably moderate our own terms we 
shall be abundantly satisfied. And when, if ever, he 
shall undertake to satirize us, permit me to entreat him 
not to say anything as severe as we are often saying 
of each other. Gentlemen, I most cordially join in the 
sentiments here expressed of goodwill, fairplay, and 
justice in the profession, in your wishes for the advance- 
ment of our common humanity, and in the desire for 
permanent peace, friendship and co-operation with our 
cousins across the water. (Cheers.) 



286 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

The President: Gentlemen, New York is flanked by 
great cities, one of which, if not older, was long larger, 
more popular, more important than herself, was the city 
of the Declaration of Independence and of the first 
Government of the Federal Union. I am asked to 
propose next "The Press of Philadelphia," and request 
Mr. George H. Boker to respond to the sentiment. 
(Applause.) 



SPEECH OF GEORGE H. BOKER 

Mr. Chairman, I am astounded at being called upon 
to reply to any toast. The Committee of Arrangements 
were under bond not to require me to speak for any 
purpose whatever. I am therefore entirely unprepared 
to speak on any subject. As responding to the toast 
"The Press of Philadelphia," gentlemen who have pre- 
ceded me have disowned connection with the Daily, and 
with the Weekly, and with the Monthly, and with the 
Quarterly Press. I am connected with no Press what- 
ever (laughter) and how I am to represent the 
Philadelphia Press it is impossible for me to say. 
(Renewed laughter.) However, I have no doubt the 
Philadelphia Press owes Mr. Dickens the same debt 
of gratitude that the Press of our country generally 
seems to owe him. (Laughter.) I represent a class 
of the community without which the members of the 
Press could hardly exist. I am a subscriber (cheers 
and laughter) and I am happy to be able to say, with 
my hand upon my heart, that I have always paid my 
bills (applause) generally in advance (cheers) ; not 
that my credit was not good, but because that seemed to 
be the requirement. I do not know whether it was a lack 
of capital on their part or a suspicion of me. (Laughter.) 
I am an American curiosity in another way. I never 
read a book of Mr. Dickens's except in the original 
English editions. (Cheers.) I will not go into the 
subject of an International Copyright Law lest I should 
get heated and say something injudicious, but I think 
such a law would be a justice to the American author 



PRESS DINNER A.T DELMONICO'S 287 

as much as to the English author. The writings of 
Mr. Dickens have affected and softened the heart 
wherever they have been read, and more especially 
where they have been heard through the magic medium 
of his voice. (Cheers.) We have lately had the pleasure 
of hearing him interpret his own works throughout these 
United States, and after that interpretation of them he 
will go home to his own country, if possible, more 
beloved than ever. (Cheers.) It has been said by many 
of our critical writers that Mr. Dickens, in Martin 
Chuzzlewit and The American Notes, was not altogether 
just to us. That may be. Mr. Dickens saw with his 
own eyes and from one point of view. However, we 
know that this tour of his through our country has been 
one continued triumphal progress; he has overcome all 
prejudice, and his audiences have listened to him with 
delight. Different views of these entertainments have 
been taken in our different cities, but all of them have 
agreed in being favourable. I can only say that I thank 
him in behalf of Philadelphia. We shall be delighted 
to see him again in any capacity whether as an ambas- 
sador of England to the United States (great applause) 
or as an ambassador from his literary brethren sent to 
conclude the great International Copyright Treaty of the 
future, which we all hope to see. (Applause.) When- 
ever he comes, and however he comes, we will welcome 
him to Philadelphia. (Cheers.) 

The President: Gentlemen, our Committee have 
rather limited notions, I think, with regard to geo- 
graphy. They propose as the next sentiment, "The 
Northern Press " very appropriately and they ask me 
to call upon our friend Mr. George W. Demers of the 
Albany Evening Journal to respond, which he will do 
worthily however, I think not so far north as we might 
probably have called into service on this occasion. 

Mr. Demers said that his dearest recollections were 
connected with the man whom they had met to honour. 
He remembered his characters not as fictions, but as 
living beings, as men and women whom he had met 
face to face. He knew them in their entities, in their 
ambitions and in their degradations, in their rags, in 



288 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

their sufferings. He had stood by the bedside of little 
Paul dying. He had triumphed in the triumph of virtue 
which the story of Nicholas Nickleby portrayed. He 
owed Mr. Dickens a debt of gratitude for the delight 
and instruction which he had derived from the perusal 
of his works. He remembered that a year ago, when 
travelling in a mountainous region of the great wilder- 
ness in the northern part of New York, finding in a rude 
cabin where he stopped all night, five miles removed 
from any other habitation, where no one would expect 
to find any evidences of intellectual culture, a complete 
edition of Charles Dickens, and his rough-handed host 
had told him that next to his Bible he valued the works 
of Charles Dickens. ("Good!" and applause.) This 
little incident was but an illustration in miniature of 
the sentiment which prevailed among the people of the 
United States, who recognized in the writings of Charles 
Dickens the ideas and principles which, if carried .into 
the great common life of a community, were calculated 
to make it wiser, purer and happier. (Applause.) 

The president then announced that in consequence of 
the exceedingly bad health of their guest, who was suffer- 
ing great pain, he had excused him ; and he would pass 
out of the room as he preferred to do, unnoticed. The 
audience then rose and gave Mr. Dickens three hearty 
cheers as he retired. 

The President: We have present among us repre- 
sentatives of the Press from the far valley of the Ohio, 
who have come to-night to join with us in doing honour 
to our guest. I, therefore, in behalf of the committee, 
have great pleasure in recognizing their generous attend- 
ance, and asking you to join in the sentiment "The 
Western Press," to which Mr. Halstead, of the Cin- 
cinnati Commercial, is expected to respond. 



SPEECH OF MR. MURAT HALSTEAD 

Mr. President and Gentlemen, if I should protract 
my remarks in proportion to the geographical extrava- 
gance of the part of the country from which I come, I 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 289 

fear we should break the Sabbath. There is some mis- 
take here, sir. My home is not "in the bright setting 
sun." I think it is an antagonism if it were not for 
offending the august majesty of New York a provincial- 
ism (laughter) to speak of anything this side of the 
Mississippi as the West. Why, sir, I live five hundred 
miles this side of the mouth of the Ohio river, and 
when we have ascended the Missouri river five hundred 
miles to the city of Omaha, there is a railroad yet six 
hundred miles west of that, so that I only live at one- 
third of the distance from New York to the western 
terminus to our railway system. Our honoured guest 
this evening flatters himself that he has seen the United 
States. He has seen that portion of it which "hangs 
on the verge " of the Atlantic, a very small portion of 
the country. We have regretted exceedingly that we 
could not have him with us in the West for a time. 
But our country was so unfortunately large that it was 
impossible for him to get over the breadth of it. 
(Laughter.) We had prepared for it; we had read 
up everything, including American Notes (renewed 
laughter) and we were astonished to find what an 
exceedingly clever, good-natured and true book it was. 
(Laughter.) And we are intensely grateful to him for 
the many omissions in it he has made in recording the 
exceedingly disagreeable things that he saw when he 
was in this country twenty-five years ago. We would 
be very happy to welcome him at any time. We hope 
he may visit us every quarter of a century, for all the 
centuries that we may wish he may live. (Laughter.) 
It has been said of the British dominions that upon 
them the sun never sets. It may certainly be said of 
the sentiment of Charles Dickens, that the sun never 
sets upon it, that it goes round the world. We hope 
that in his next visit to this country he may be able 
to approach it by the golden gates of the Pacific the 
western pillar of Hercules. The only fear we have is 
that he would be so much attracted by our Pacific 
shores that as in the case of his visit to the Atlantic 
coast he could not penetrate to the valley of the 
Mississippi. (Cheers.) 



290 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

The President: Gentlemen, we will not forget that 
there is a south in our country, and a southern Press, 
as well as a northern and eastern and a western. And 
as I propose the sentiment "The Southern Press," I 
shall call upon a gentleman to respond to it who is 
probably not now connected with that Press, but who 
represents its spirit, and genealogically may be held 
its representative. I propose, then, "The Southern 
Press," and require Mr. Edwin de Leon to respond. 



MR. DE LEON'S RESPONSE 

Mr. de Leon said that all had read with wonder in 
childhood that story in the Arabian Nights of the prince 
who, on his magic carpet, could transport himself to 
the remotest corners of the earth. What our childhood 
had doubted, our manhood had realized; for into what 
remote nook or diversity of land and language had not 
the magic woof woven from his own brain transported 
Charles Dickens ? The Southern Press had paid their 
tribute to him. He had fed this generation with the 
most wholesome food of literature, and among those 
who would welcome him on his return to his own land 
there would be found no hearts that would throb for 
him with a more genuine warmth than those that sent 
a "Godspeed" after him from Maine to Louisiana. 
(Cheers.) 

The President then proposed the sentiment, "The 
Southwestern Press," and called upon Mr. T. S. 
Thorpe to respond. 



SPEECH OF MR. THORPE 






Mr. Thorpe spoke of the future in store for a section 
so large in extent and so rich in its resources as that 
which was known as "The Southwest." Twenty-eight 
years ago he saw a flat-boat coming down the Missis- 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 291 

sippi with the name painted in large letters on its side, 
Samuel Veller. On his asking the captain of the craft 
whose name it bore, he replied that he thought probably 
it was that of the new candidate for Congress in the 
then new territory of Indiana. 

The President: Gentlemen: The last sentiment is 
"The Scientific Press," to which Mr. Edward L. 
Youmans is expected to respond. 



REMARKS OF PROFESSOR YOUMANS 

Mr. Chairman and Gentlemen, I appreciate the honour 
of being called upon on this occasion to represent the 
Scientific Press, although very incompetent to do justice 
to its interests. But if any subject can afford to be 
careless to its mouthpiece it is Science. The daily, 
weekly, and the monthly Press, and the Press east, west, 
north and south have to-night paid the tribute of their 
sincere and profound respect to the genius and the 
labours of Charles Dickens. Time and space have been 
thus exhausted; where is the room for science? But 
though allowed no geographic or periodic opportunity, 
the Scientific Press is nevertheless a power not only 
through its own organs, but in its influence upon 
thought, through all the multitudinous channels of pub- 
lication. It is a common belief that science consists of 
mere curious inquiries about rare and extraordinary 
things, remote from the interests of common life. This 
is a grave mistake. Science is entirely an affair of 
thought of the correct action of the human mind. 
Knowledge grows in the individual and in the race 
grows from vagueness into certainty, from looseness 
into precision, and in its highest or perfect form we 
call it Science. It is simply a bringing of the human 
mind into better harmony with the truth of things, and 
it matters not what are its objects stones or stars, 
human souls or the social relations of men. It is not 
the material triumphs of science, splendid as they are, 
to which I would call attention on this occasion, but 
u 2 



292 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

to its influence in widening and elevating human 
thought, by which it must become a new power in 
literature and all renovating influence in education. 
Action and reaction are equal and opposite as well in 
the mental as in the material world. The forces of 
thought cannot reconstruct our civilization as they are 
now doing without a profound reflex effect upon the 
mind itself. It is much to have gained the mastery of 
the powers of Nature for a thousand purposes of useful- 
ness ; it is far more to have gained an intellectual insight 
into her mysteries. No agency of the Press is more 
salutary than its influence in diffusing the results of 
scientific discovery and ministering to the universal 
extension of the principles deduced and the views that 
are based upon them j and the claims of science to be 
represented here to-night as a distinctive power, having 
a Press of its own, and pressing all others into its 
service, is, that it is the most methodical and irresistible 
of all the agencies which are co-operating to work out 
the progress and elevation of humanity. There is 
another misconception of the character and influence of 
science which it seems pertinent to notice on this occa- 
sion. It is the notion that it is unfavourable to the 
finer faculties of the mind the enemy of the imagina- 
tion. That growing science has acted as a check upon 
the wild and lawless play of the imagination is un- 
questionable, for its function is to lead men into the 
dispensation of the true. The history of imaginative 
literature in the department of poetry and fiction shows 
that coeval with the advance of science there has been 
a steady repression of its more wayward and volatile 
flights a steady subordination of it to the limits of 
the truth of Nature. The imaginative faculty has been 
stripped of its old prerogative of unbounded licence, 
and its highest praise now is that it does not transcend 
the verities of nature and experience. But if science 
may thus seem to have invaded the ancient domain of 
the imagination, has it not made munificent amends by 
revealing a wealth of thought resources which infinitely 
enlarge the scope of imaginative combinations. So far, 
indeed, from science being unfavourable to the imagin- 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 293 

ation, it is the very faculty on which she most relies for 
the accomplishment of her special work the discovery of 
truth. From the time of Bacon the attempt has been 
made to formulate the mental processes of discovery in 
terms of pure logical procedure, but the thing is impos- 
sible. The imagination here comes into play in a 
manner so subtle and elusive of all rules as to nonplus 
the keenest psychology. I am afraid Mr. Gradgrind, 
with all his "facts," will never make a discovery for 
the lack of this mental quality. The scientific attain- 
ment of truth is, after all, mainly a matter of fervour of 
imagination a phantasy, and is just as truly an inspira- 
tion of genius as a successful stroke of poetry or fiction. 
Thus all the lines of intellectual labour harmonize at 
last. Our illustrious guest has devoted his wondrous 
powers of imagination and description to the noble 
end of ameliorating the condition of his fellow-beings. 
Science bids him Godspeed with the fullest sympathy, 
for she too has for her inspiring aim that understanding 
of Nature which is indispensable to the "bettering of 
man's estate." 

Mr. Dolby's name was then loudly called, but he had 
retired from the hall. 



The following are among the letters received upon 
the occasion 

FROM THURLOW WEED 

New Yor^ April 18, 1868. 

MY DEAR SIR, 

When you informed me that the honoured privi- 
lege of responding to a sentiment this evening had been 
assigned by the Committee of Arrangements to me, you 
will remember that I expressed my deep regret that the 
power of utterance on such occasions disqualified me 
for duty. In a subsequent conversation the desire to 
speak was so strong that I allowed you to infer that I 
would make the attempt. But as the hour approaches 
I find my courage "oozing out" so rapidly that I have 
reached Falstaff's conclusion that "discretion is the 



294 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

better part of valour." With a theme so bright and 
beautiful, so eloquent and touching a theme that almost 
speaks itself it is hard indeed to be capable of con- 
secutive utterances, to be unable to find words for thought 
or to fashion inspiration into sentences such, however, 
is my painful lot. Under obligation to Mr. Dickens for 
infinitely more intellectual instruction and enjoyment 
than I have derived from all other sources Shakespeare 
and Scott included with no power to make either just 
or equitable compensation, I am too poor to express 
in fitly chosen words an adequate sense of the gratitude 
which my reading of his glorious works awakens and 
intensifies. If, like an ancestor in very early times 
similarly situated, I had a trusty friend to speak for 
me, I might venture to take my seat at your festive 
board, but as I have no right to hope for miraculous 
assistance, I must submit to a great disappointment by 
denying myself that pleasure. I am, however, consoled 
by the reflection that what I lose others will gain, for 
time, to-night, is too precious to be wasted. For the 
mental chaff which I should offer there are waving fields 
of fully ripe wheat ready for the intellectual sickle. 
Mr. Dickens may not be aware of this, but most of the 
offspring of his brain, real creations with flesh and blood 
and immortal spirits, now reside in America. In a sense 
easier understood than explained, they have been 
inmates, welcome inmates, of my own household I know 
them familiarly, pass hours almost every day of my life 
in quiet but cheering communion with them. For many 
of them I cherish the warmest affection. Little Nell, 
at the age of two years, came an orphan into my home 
and heart, bringing Heaven's brightest sunshine and 
choicest gifts with her, to be darkened and shrouded 
only when, at fourteen, the spirit of that slight spark, 
resting on the bosom it loved best, drifted away into 
the wide ocean of eternity. Even Mr. Micawber, whom 
Mr. Dickens left in Australia prosperous and popular, 
has been several years in New York, subjected again 
to his earlier pecuniary embarrassments, negotiating 
bills on which payment is inconveniently demanded at 
maturity, being "took" occasionally, but ever look- 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 295 

ing about for "something to turn up." Just now he is 
inquiring whether "coals are likely to be remunerative." 
I have received several letters from him which Mr. 
Dickens would instantly recognize. Those legitimate 
sons and daughters of Thespis, the Crummleses, as Mr. 
Dickens knows, came to America. One has not for- 
gotten the ostentatious leave-taking between Crummies 
and Nicholas. Their various and brilliant dramatic 
merits have been appreciated. The "Phenomenon," 
though no longer an "infant," is secure of a double 
encore; and that incomparable woman, "Mrs. 
Crummies," while balancing her head upon a fourteen- 
foot pole with a brilliant display of fireworks at her 
heels, never fails to bring down the house. The 
"Veneerings" scattered throughout our city are doing 
much to improve, adorn and varnish society. Mark 
Tapley, who honoured us with a visit, found so much to 
be "jolly" over, met with so much that was congenial in 
Jefferson Brick, Colonel Diver, and Mr. Julius Wash- 
ington Merryweather Bib there, but for the remembrance 
of Mrs. Lupin, with an anticipation of "ten more," and 
then just "fifteen more" because the last was not fair 
and "must be done over again," would have settled 
down permanently on a charming "corner lot" that he 
fished out of the pond in the very attractive and imagina- 
tive city of Eden. Boarding schools constructed upon 
the Squeers, Creakle and Blimber plans, however admir- 
able, have not, I regret to inform my patron, Mr. 
Dickens, been as flourishing as they were formerly. 
The discipline, though, is not quite popular. There is 
a prejudice indeed, I may say, unreasonable, but never- 
theless a prejudice against such memorable institutions 
as "Dotheboys Hall." This will not, I hope, dishearten 
Mr. Dickens or diminish his praiseworthy efforts in 
behalf of education. Nor while "modern prisons " have 
fairly accomplished all the reforms he anticipated should 
his labours in that direction be intermitted. Here, as 
in London, visitors are delighted with the wonders we 
read in numbers "twenty-seven" and "twenty-eight." 
A prison system which produces so perfect a change of 
habit and heart as Uriah Heep and Littimer experienced 



296 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

may be fairly expected in due time to reclaim Traddles 
and Copperfield. Mr. Bumble and Mrs. Corney, 
who come out to give us the benefit of their experience, 
are placing our workhouses in a palmy condition. Our 
beadles and matrons have already learned that the health 
of sick paupers can be improved by eating the toast and 
drinking the tea provided for patients themselves. And 
we have lots of excellent waiters who know how to 
beguile young travellers of their beer and chops. The 
Circumlocution Office and Family are happily adapted 
to our own circumstances and begin to harmonize with 
our business habits. But it is my duty to apprise Mr. 
Dickens that his first chapter of Bleak House, what- 
ever of merit the succeeding chapters may possess, has 
impaired the working and destroyed the charm of our 
court of chancery. Before that ingenious chapter was 
written and read, we too could boast of our Jarndyce 
and Jarndyce. Our courts were enlivened with occa- 
sional vehements of Gridley, the man from Shropshire ; 
and we had little Miss Flights expecting judgments. 
But now, with the solitary exception that of Broden 
against Corning we have not a single chancery suit 
that has outlived a generation, into which children have 
been born, or out of which they had died. Madam 
Mantalini retrieved her fortune in New York, but was 
brought a second time to grief by her spendthrift Italian 
husband, whom I saw to-day through a basement 
window in I4th Street turning a mangle. When Mr. 
Dickens arrived in New York I attempted to pay by 
small instalments some fractional part of the large debt 
of which he has been defrauded by our refusal to enact 
an International Copyright Law. I applied to my friend 
Roberts, the host of Westminster, to further my scheme, 
but either from its bundle, conception or by accidental 
discovery it collapsed. Instead of receiving my check 
and sending two tickets, Mr. Dolby returned the check 
along with the tickets for the course ; not to speak 
irreverently, I experienced the surprise that awaited the 
sermons of the patriots who went to Egypt for corn, but 
on their return found their money with the corn in the 
mouth of their sacks. But while moved for its affection 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 297 

for Mr. Dickens, my mind possesses the motive power 
of the cork leg. I must "stop her." 

Permit me therefore to offer a brief sentiment 
Charles Dickens The philanthropist who has con- 
ferred the greatest happiness upon the greatest number. 

Yours truly, 

THURLOW WEED. 



FROM DONALD G. MITCHELL 
Mr. H. E. SWEETSER. 

Edgewood^ March 13, 1868. 

MY DEAR SIR I delayed replying to the circular of 
Mr. Young to the very last, hoping that I might be able 
to participate in your festal supper to Mr. Dickens. 
Saturday night, however, is an awkward one for me, 
and other engagements will compel me to decline. 
Believe me, however, when I say that there will not be 
one among you more sensible of the debt you all owe to 
your honoured guest than your obedient servant, 

DONALD G. MITCHELL. 



LETTER FROM OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES 

Boston, April 9, 1868. 

DEAR SIR, 

I am very sorry that it will not be in my power 
to attend the dinner to be given to Mr. Dickens on the 
i8th of April. All of us delight to honour him, and 
our hearts will all be with you as you speak the kind 
words of farewell to your and our illustrious guest. No 
invader ever astonished these Western shores with so 
complete a triumph. He has subdued and rendered 
tributary to himself the mighty multitudes of our great 
cities more rapidly and more universally than Cortez 
overcame the thronging Aztecs. He has taught his 
gracious lessons of sympathy with all it suffers, of 
delight in all joyous life, to a larger class of enraptured 
scholars than Marco Polo found among the docile 



298 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

Peruvians. He belongs to us and to all that breathes 
the vital air as a true defender of the faith faith in this 
divinely human race, the congenial creed of its nobler 
natures in the face of all its false priests and prophets. 
His writings, fresh as they are in fame, are one in spirit 
with the smiles and the sighs of the little family circle 
of Eden before the firstborn of our mothers interfered 
with its harmony. The language of true feeling is of 
all time. The pleasant humour of Pickwick might have 
been traced in the original character of an antediluvian 
palimpsest, and the sweet humanity of David Copperfield 
might have been deciphered from a manuscript thrown 
overboard (in a bottle) by Father Noah. In varying 
phrases we all strive to express the same wish : peace, 
prosperity and happiness be with our parting guest, on 
the land and on the deep, now and always; the man 
who has been as a brother to more of his fellow-creatures 
than any other of his time, and who all over the English 
world is the companion of every age and condition, and 
the welcome guest in every household. 

Yours very truly, 

O. W. HOLMES. 

To Mr. John Russell W. Young, for the Committee 
of Invitation. Amen. 



THE DICKENS BANQUET 

The "dinner given on Saturday evening by the Press 
of the United States to Mr. Charles Dickens was some- 
thing more than an ordinary compliment from the 
members of the profession to the foremost man of their 
craft. To those who sat round those brilliant tables it 
seemed not so much a testimonial to the genius of a 
successful author as a tribute of personal regard for the 
characters with which that genius has improved and 
delighted us. When Charles Dickens took his place 
at the board, many a dear old friend sat down with us 
unseen ; and it was hard not to imagine we were cheer- 
ing Sam Weller, or hobnobbing with Tom Pinch, or 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 299 

laughing with Mark Tapley, or gazing into the beaming 
spectacles of Mr. Pickwick. The cordial greetings were 
interchanged not only between Mr. Dickens and the 
two hundred of his admirers whose invitation he had 
accepted, but troops of those delightful people who live 
only in his books seemed to be there with him, and the 
hand-shaking, the toasting, the waving of handkerchiefs, 
were quite as much for them as for their genial creator. 
And so, amid lights and flowers, and the breathings of 
delicate music, and the laughter of many voices, the 
evening passed merrily away, as if in the society of 
friends whom we had long known in fancy, but never 
met in the flesh. 

The admirable speech in which Mr. Dickens acknow- 
ledged the compliment paid him will undoubtedly add 
a great deal to his personal popularity in America, for 
it was just such a speech as Americans particularly like 
to hear. It was frank, it was cordial, it was generous; 
and as for those old darts of offence which have rankled 
so long in the wounds of a few of us, he drew them 
out with a deft and tender hand, and salved the injury 
with the unction of a little national flattery. We do not 
know that he was under any obligation to do this, but 
we are glad that he has done it, for we would have him 
leave none but warm friends here, and we trust that 
when the ship bears him away, the American people will 
wish him with entire unanimity Godspeed and long life 
and happiness. From the NEW YORK TRIBUNE of 
April 20, 1868. 



CHARLES DICKENS'S FAREWELL READING 

Mr. Dickens has read for the last time in America. 
As we write these words the tones of his voice have 
scarcely died away. The living presence of his genius 
still warmly enkindles the hearts of his hearers. At 
such a moment joy and sorrow naturally blend joy in 
the fullness of his splendid success; sorrow in the 
thought that the loved and admired artist will be seen 



300 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

and heard no more. Such a moment is naturally one 
of extreme emotion. Happily the voice of criticism may 
be silent. Its claims have been satisfied, its duty has 
been done. Only the voice of honest admiration need 
now be heard. Mr. Dickens has endeared himself to us 
in every possible way. As an author by his humanity, 
integrity and goodness, directing the use of great 
natural gifts; as a reader by his perfect honesty and 
simplicity in conveying to us the comic and pathetic 
creations of his art ; and as a man by his frankness, his 
gentleness, his modesty, and his whole-hearted response 
to our sympathetic greeting. Henceforward the great 
humorist is entirely understood in America. Before he 
came here to give these readings there were some among 
us who remembered only his old-time strictures on the 
young republic, and some who doubted whether he would 
be welcome. But there was never real reason to doubt. 
The bare fact that these strictures were so clearly remem- 
bered after so many years was the best possible proof 
that Charles Dickens had always and from the outset 
of his career been beloved in this country. The heart 
remembers longer than the head. The great poet has 
told us what it is to be wroth with one we love. Charles 
Dickens's coming, however, was needful to disperse 
every cloud and every doubt and to place his name 
undimmed in the silver sunshine of American admira- 
tion. After the revelation of his inner nature that he 
has given to us in the readings now ended, and after 
the noble words he has spoken on the occasion of the 
recent banquet, we cannot help knowing that the creator 
of Little Nell and Peggotty and Sidney Carton and 
all the other friends, is as true in his heart as he is 
great in mind. Not to know this, indeed, would be to 
have heard him in vain. The delicious reading of the 
Christmas Carol and the "Trial of Pickwick" with 
which Mr. Dickens last evening closed his series of 
entertainments in this country should have won the 
heart of even the most inveterate bigot. The humane 
spirit of the man lit it up with a beautiful light. His 
fine fancy played over it like sunbeams on the water. 
His humour, his pathos, his direct and forcible por- 



PRESS DINNER AT DELMONICO'S 301 

traiture of character, his poetic temperament, his unerr- 
ing intuition as to motive and emotion, his simplicity 
of style in reading and of method in delivery found 
illustration in this reading. What we said at the outset 
indeed remains true at the close that the keynote of his 
genius is sounded in the Christmas Carol and the 
"Trial of Pickwick." That note found an echo in every 
bosom last night, and awoke the response of a tumultu- 
ous applause. The audience which crowded Steinway 
Hall in every part was, in truth, profoundly moved. By 
laughter and by weeping it testified its sympathy with 
the humour of Bob Cratchit and the pathos of Tiny 
Tim, and the fine lesson of humanity that was once 
more enforced by its honoured teacher. By its cheers 
it told him how deeply its feelings had been moved, and 
summoned him to say farewell. What he said is hereto 
appended, and we have only to add that his beautiful 
words were said with equal grace and tenderness. 

" Ladies and Gentlemen : The shadow of one word has 
impended over me all this evening, and the time has 
come at last when the shadow must fall. It is but a 
very short one, but the weight of such things is not 
measured by their length : and two much shorter words 
express the whole realm of our human existence. When 
I was reading David Copperfield here last Thursday 
night, I felt that there was more than usual significance 
for me in the declaration of Mr. Peggotty : ' My future 
life lies over the sea.' And when I closed this book 
just now I felt keenly that I was shortly to establish 
such an alibi as would have satisfied even the elder 
Mr. Weller himself. (Laughter.) The relations that 
have been set up between us in this place relations 
sustained, on my side at least, by the most earnest 
devotion to my task; sustained by yourselves, on your 
side, by the readiest sympathy and kindliest acknow- 
ledgment must now be broken for ever. But I entreat 
you to believe that in passing from my sight you will 
not pass from my memory. I shall often recall you as 
I see you now, equally by my winter fire and in the 
green English summer weather. I shall never recall 
you as a mere public audience, but rather as a host of 



302 CHARLES DICKENS IN AMERICA 

personal friends, and ever with the greatest gratitude, 
tenderness and consideration. Ladies and gentlemen, I 
beg to bid you farewell. And I pray God bless you, and 
God bless the land in which I have met you." (Great 
applause, the audience with waving handkerchiefs and 
loud voices cheering the distinguished author as he 
passed from the room.) 

We should add that Mr. Dickens was last evening 
suffering from illness, which, though it did not in the 
least mar the fervency and the thorough art of his read- 
ing, evidently caused him great personal inconvenience. 
The following certificate which speaks for itself was 
distributed in the hall 

" I certify that Mr. Dickens is suffering from neuralgic 
affection of the right foot, probably occasioned by great 
fatigue in a severe winter. But I believe that he can 
read to-night without much pain or inconvenience (his 
mind being set on not disappointing his audience), with 
the aid of a slight mechanical addition to his usual 
arrangements. FORDYCE BARKER, M.D." 

The reading stand was beautiful with flowers the 
gifts of friends. One wreath came from Boston, arriving 
in the course of the reading. It was fit that Nature's 
best adornments should embellish a scene of which 
every element was lovely, and of which every remem- 
brance will be for ever sweet and gracious. Copied from 
the NEW YORK TRIBUNE of April 21, 1868. 






APPENDIX I 

ITINERARY OF CHARLES DICKENS'S AMERICAN 
TRIP IN 1842 



Saturday 

Sunday 

Monday 



22nd 
23rd 
24th 

2 sth 



Tuesday 

Wednesday 26th 

Thursday zyth 

Friday ' 28th 

Saturday 2gth 

Sunday 3oth 

Monday 3ist 



JANUARY 

Arrived in Boston 4 p.m. At Tremont Hotel 
In Boston 

Visited Massachusetts Legislature at Spring- 
field 
In Boston 



Tuesday ist 

Wednesday 2nd 

Thursday 3rd 

Friday 4th 

Saturday 5th 

Sunday 6th 

Monday 7th 

Tuesday Sth 

Wednesday gth 

Thursday loth 



FEBRUARY 

Dinner at Papinti's Restaurant, Boston 

In Boston 

Visited mills at Lowell (Mass.) 

Harvard College, Cambridge (Mass.) 
Left Boston for Worcester (Mass.) 
Spent day in Worcester as guest of Governor 

Davis 
Left Worcester in morning via Springfield for 

Hartford (Conn.) 
Dinner at City Hotel, Hartford 

,, with Colonel Grant, Hartford 
Visited Public Institution of Hartford 

303 



304 

Friday 



nth 



Saturday 1 2th 

Sunday i3th 

Monday i4th 

Tuesday isth 

Wednesday i6th 

Thursday iyth 

Friday ' i8th 

Saturday igth 

Sunday 2oth 

Monday 2ist 

Tuesday 22nd 

Wednesday 23rd 

Thursday 24th 

Friday 25th 

Saturday 26th 

Sunday 27th 

Monday 28th 



Tuesday ist 

Wednesday 2nd 

Thursday 3rd 

Friday 4th 

Saturday 5th 

Sunday 6th 



Monday 
Tuesday 



7th 
8th 



Wednesday gth 

Thursday loth 

Friday nth 

Saturday i2th 

Sunday 1 3th 

Monday i4th 

Tuesday i5th 



APPENDIX I 

Left Hartford 5 p.m. ; arrived New Haven 

8 p.m. Public reception at Tontine 

Hotel 
Left New Haven in morning by boat for New 

York 

Arrived in New York in morning 
"Boz" Ball at Park Theatre. Dined with 

Charles A. Davis, 365 Broadway 
Dined with David C. Golden, 28 Laight St. 
Confined to Hotel with bad cold 

> ?> > 
Complimentary Dinner at City Hotel 
In New York 

At St. John's Church with ex-Prest. Van Buren 
In New York 



Private Dinner at Astor House 



MARCH 

In New York 

Visited Tombs Prison and Public Department 

In New York 

In New York 

> 

Left New York in morning ; arrived Philadel- 
phia in evening. At United States Hotel 

In Philadelphia 

Reception at U.S. Hotel in morning. At 
Penitentiary in afternoon. 

Left Philadelphia in morning ; arrived Wash- 
ington in evening. At Fuller's Hotel 

Visited Capitol and White House 

Visited various public buildings 

Dinner at White House 2.30. Dinner at Robt. 

Greenhow's 5.30 

Private Dinner at Boulanger's Restaurant 
Attended Leve'e at White House 



APPENDIX I 



305 



Friday 1 8th 

Saturday 



Sunday 20th 

Monday 2ist 

Tuesday 22nd 

Wednesday 23rd 

Thursday 24th 

Friday 25th 

Saturday 26th 

Sunday 2yth 

Monday 28th 

Tuesday 29th 

Wednesday 3oth 

Thursday 3 1 st 



Left Washington for Richmond 

Arrived at Richmond in evening. At Exchange 
Hotel 

Private Supper at Exchange Hotel 

Visited Capitol in morning. Held reception at 
hotel 12 till 2 

Left Richmond in morning for Baltimore 

Arrived at Baltimore in evening. Put up at 
Barnum's Hotel 

Visited Hospital and Penitentiary in morning. 
Reception in evening 

Left Baltimore in morning j arrived Harris- 
burg 6.30 p.m. 

In Harrisburg till 3 p.m. Left for Pittsburgh 
by canal boat 

En route to Pittsburgh 



Arrived in Pittsburgh 
Exchange Hotel 
In Pittsburgh 



9.30 p.m. Went to 



Friday 

Saturday 

Sunday 

Monday 



ist 

2nd 
3rd 
4th 



Tuesday 5th 

Wednesday 6th 

Thursday 7th 

Friday 8th 

Saturday gth 

Sunday xoth 

Monday nth 

Tuesday i2th 



Wednesday 



APRIL 

Left Pittsburgh on Steamer Messenger for 

Cincinnati 
En route to Cincinnati 

> 

Arrived at Cincinnati in morning. Went to 
Broadway Hotel 

Ball at Judge Timothy Walker's residence 

Left Cincinnati in morning ; arrived at Louis- 
ville ( Ky . ) midnight. Went to Gait House 

Left Louisville i p.m. 

En route to St. Louis 

Do. Passed Cairo (111.) in morning 

Arrived at St. Louis (Mo.) at 9 p.m. Went 
to Planter's House 

Spent day viewing St. Louis 

Left for Prairie in morning ; stayed in hotel in 
Lebanon (111.) 

Back at St. Louis at noon. Soiree in Plan- 
ter's House in evening 



306 



APPENDIX I 



Thursday i4th 


Left St. Louis for Cincinnati 


Friday isth 


En route to Cincinnati 


Saturday i6th 


> _ 


Sunday i7th 


Arrived at Louisville ; stayed overnight at Gait 




House 


Monday :8th 


Left in morning for Cincinnati on Steamer 




Ben Franklin 


Tuesday igth 


Arrived in Cincinnati at i p.m. 


Wednesday 2oth 


Left Cincinnati by stage at 8 a.m. for Colum- 




bus (Ohio) 


Thursday 2ist 


Arrived Columbus 7 a.m. Reception at Neil 




House in evening 


Friday 22nd 


Left Columbus by stage 7 a.m. ; arrived Lower 




Sandusky 10 p.m. 


Saturday 23rd 


Left Lower Sandusky 7.30 a.m. ; arrived 




Sandusky 6 p.m. 


Sunday 24th 


Left Sandusky by boat in afternoon ; arrived 




at Cleveland in evening 


Monday 25th 


Left Cleveland in morning for Buffalo (N.Y.) 


Tuesday 26th 


Arrived Buffalo 6 a.m. Left for Niagara 




Falls at 9 a.m. 


Wednesday 27th 


Niagara Falls 


Thursday 28th 





Friday 2Qth 


i) > 


Saturday 3oth 


}> 




MAY 


Sunday ist 


At Niagara Falls 


Monday 2nd 





Tuesday 3rd 





Wednesday 4th "1 




to 


In Canada 


Sunday agthj 




Monday 3th 


Left Montreal for New York 


Tuesday 3ist 


Arrived Albany 5 p.m. Left by boat for New 




York at 7 p.m. 




JUNE 


Wednesday ist 


Arrived in New York at 4 a.m. 


Thursday 2nd 


Left New York in morning for Lebanon ; 



arrived there 10 p.m. 



APPENDIX I 807 

Friday 3rd At Lebanon (Shaker Village) 

Saturday 4th Left Lebanon in morning ; arrived at West 

Point in afternoon 

Sunday 5th At West Point Military Academy 

Monday 6th Left West Point for New York ; arrived there 

in afternoon 
Tuesday yth Left New York for England 



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APPENDIX II 



SINCE the account of the Dinner given to Dickens in New 
York in 1868 was put in type, the following complete list of the 
guests and the diagram showing the seating of the guests at the 
tables have been discovered in the New York World of April 29, 
1868. While this list may not be of interest to British readers, it 
is believed that it will be especially interesting to readers in the 
United States, containing as it does the names of so many famous 
editors and literary writers of the "sixties," most of whom, like 
the great author in whose honour the dinner was given, have 
passed away. 

LIST OF THOSE PRESENT AT THE DICKENS 
DINNER 

1. Horace Greeley, Tribune, New York. 

2. Charles Dickens, All the Year Round, England. 

3. Thurlow Weed, Commercial Advertiser, New York. 

4. Henry J. Raymond, Times, New York. 

5. Manton Marble, World, New York. 

6. Wm. Henry Hurlbert, World, New York. 

7. Murat Halstead, Commercial, Cincinnati. 

8. George W. Demers, Evening Journal, Albany. 

9. Robert Hoe, New York. 

10. Samuel Bowles, Republican, Springfield, Mass. 
T i . Jos. R. Hawley, C our ant, Hartford, Conn. 

12. George Wm. Curtis, Harper's Monthly, New York. 

13. Robert Bonner, Ledger, New York. 

14. James Parton, Author, New York. 

15. Chas. Eliot Norton, North American, Boston. 

1 6. William Stuart, New York. 

17. Mr. Lester Wallack, New York. 

1 8. Mr. Lamb, Scotland. 

19. Henry D. Palmer, New York. 

20. George Dolby, England. 

21. Wm. D. Morgan, New York. 

309 



310 APPENDIX II 

22. R. B. Roosevelt, Citizen, N.Y. 

23. Isaac H. Bailey, New York. 

24. James A. Whitney, American Artisan, N.Y. 

25. J. B. F. Walker, Evening Mail, New York. 

26. E. H. Clements, Tribune, N.Y. 

27. Franklin Philip, Washington, D.C. 

28. H. A. Dike, Evening Post, New York. 

29. R. S. Chilton, Dept. of State, Washington, D.C. 

30. C. T. Lewis, Evening Post, New York. 

31. C. F. Briggs, Putnam's Magazine, New York. 

32. Charles Nordhoff, Evening Post, New York. 

33. Aug. Maverick, Evening Post, New York. 

34. Thomas W. Knox, Herald, New York. 

35. R. T. Colborn, Cor., St. Louis Republican, New York. 

36. J. H. Browne, Galaxy, New York. 

37. James M. Scovel, New Republic, Camden, N.J. 

38. Chark Waggoner, Commercial, Toledo, Ohio. 

39. J. H. Bates, New York. 

40. James H. Benedict, New York. 

41. Robert Sewell, New York. 

42. T. B. Thorpe, Author, New York. 

43. J. H. Hackett, New York. 

44. H. Clapp, Jr., Leader, New York. 

45. C. Fulton, Mercury, New York. 

46. C. B. Seymour, Times, New York. 

47. Mr. Osborn, Scotland. 

48. L. W. Jerome, New York. 

49. Thomas N. Rooker, Tribune, New York. 

50. Thomas McElrath, Tribune, New York. 

51. C. A. Runkle, Tribune, New York. 

52. J. N. Balestier, Tribune, New York. 

53. R. W. McAlpine, Tribune, New York. 

54. James B. Mix, Tribune, New York. 

55. James McConnell, Tribune, New York. 

56. H. S. Olcott, Tribune, New York. 

57. J. F. Cleveland, Tribune, New York. 

58. S. Cobb, New York. 

59. A. C. Armstrong, New York. 

60. Peter S. Hoe, New York. 

61. Richard M. Hoe, New York. 

62. Charles Scribner, Publisher, New York. 

63. Rev. H. M. Field, Evangelist, New York. 

64. A. H. Green, New York. 

65. Wm. Orton, Western Union Ttlegraph, N.Y. 



APPENDIX II 311 

66. A. J. Vanderpoel, New York. 

67. Charles E. Wilbour, Transcript, New York. 

68. C. Corson, Transcript, New York. 

69. A. J. Peabody, Publisher, New York. 

70. Ed. Seymour, Hours at Home, New York. 

71. J. D. Sherwood, Author, New York. 

72. D. O'C. Townley, Times, New York. 

73. D. A. Casserly, Round Table, New York. 

74. Aug. Snow, Times, New York. 

75. J. E. Munson, Times, New York. 

76. R. Lexow, German Press, New York. 

77. A. J. Schem, Tribune, New York. 

78. J. F. de Conto, Spanish Press, New York. 

79. W. W. Harding, Inquirer, Philadelphia. 

80. J. F. Graiff, Press, Philadelphia, Pa. 

8 1. R. E. Selmes, Transcript, New York. 

82. Andrew Devine, Times, New York. 

83. S. S. Conant, Times, New York. 

84. Augustine Daly, Times, New York. 

85. F. J. Ottarson, Tribune, New York. 

86. R. D. Benedict, Times, New York. 

87. H. J. Winser, Times, New York. 

88. John Ireland, Times, New York. 

89. Thos. Nast, Harper's Weekly, New York. 

90. A. M. Stewart, Scottish American, N.Y. 

91. Edwin de Leon, Citizen, New York. 

92. George Sheppard, Times, New York. 

93. Sheppard Homans, Bankers' Magazine, N.Y. 

94. J. Smith Homans, Bankers' Magazine, N.Y: 

95. C. C. Norvell, Times, New York. 

96. Gaston Fau, Galaxy, New York. 

97. George E. Pond, Army and Navy Journal, New York. 

98. John Swinton, Times, New York. 

99. Isaac Butts, Union, Rochester, N.Y. 

100. D. C. McEwen, Tribune, New York. 

101. Edmund T. Davis, Mercury, New York. 

1 02. A. D. Richardson, Tribune, New York. 

103. R. B. Kimball, Author, New York. 

104. J. T. Fields, Publisher, Boston, Mass. 

105. Samuel Sinclair, Tribune, New York. 

1 06. M. C. Hart, Chronicle, Washington, D.C. 

107. E. C. Stedman, Galaxy, New York. 

108. George H. Boker, Author, Philadelphia. 

109. Whitelaw Reid, Gazette, Cincinnati, 



312 APPENDIX II 

no. J. R. G. Hassard, Tribune, New York, 
in. John Russell Young, Tribune, New York. 

112. A. K. McClure, Repository, Chambersburg, Pa. 

113. J. W. Bowling, Times, New York. 

114. T. M. Davis, Keokuk, Iowa. 

115. T. B. Carpenter, Author, New York. 

116. Oliver Johnston, Independent, New York. 

117. E. L. Youmans, Author, New York. 

1 1 8. J. B. Sheridan, Tribune, New York. 

119. Alfred Ford, World, New York. 

120. W. L. Ormsby, Jr., World, New York. 

121. W. W. Vaughan, World, New York. 

122. Frederick Creighton, World, New York. 

123. George W. Childs, Ledger, Philadelphia. 

124. Paul Du Chaillu, Author. 

125. E. L. Godkin, Nation, New York. 

126. Edward Carey, Union, Brooklyn. 

127. C. W. Sweet, Real Estate Record, N.Y. 

128. Oscar Sawyer, Herald, New York. 

129. Douglass Taylor, Courier, New York. 

130. D. G. Croly, World, New York. 

131. W. L. Stone, Author, New York. 

132. W. J. Demorest, Demorest's Monthly, New York. 

133. L. Israels, World, New York. 

134. A. C. Wheeler, World, New York. 

135. L. J. Bigelow, Watertown, New York. 

136. George Wakeman, World, New York. 

137. Steven Hayes, Herald, New York. 

138. Ed. J. Holden, Post, Detroit. 

139. Wm. N. Armstrong, New York. 

140. Henry E. Sweetser, World, New York. 

141. Henry Holt, Publisher, New York. 

142. F. H. Houston, Mercantile Library, New York. 

143. A. B. Crandall, Tribune, New York. 

144. Joseph B. Lyman, World, New York. 

145. Ellis H. Roberts, Herald, Utica, N.Y. 

146. John Gamgee, London, England. 

147. George Thurber, Agriculturist, New York. 

148. Orange Judd, Agriculturist, New York. 

149. A J. Drexel, Ledger, Philadelphia. 

150. D. Mellis, World, New York. 

151. J. G. Floyd, Jr., Commercial Chronicle, N.Y. 

152. John Bonner, Author, New York. 

153. J. Ely, New York. 






APPENDIX II 313 

154. J. R. Osgood, Publisher, New York. 

155. W. McClintock, Post, Philadelphia, Pa. 

156. D. W. Judd, Commercial Advertiser, N.Y. 

157. C. P. Dewey, Commercial Advertiser, N.Y. 

158. T. E. Leeds, New York. 

159. Samuel Barton, New York. 

1 60. A. H. Almy, Sun, New York. 

161. Dr. Marsden, Evening Post, New York. 

162. Dr. Wilder, Evening Post, New York. 

163. Thos. J. Ham, Herald, Honesdale, Pa. 

164. Isaac Dayton, New York. 

165. S. S. Packard, Business Monthly, New York. 

1 66. Mr. Drayton, Phrenological Journal, N.Y. 

167. Bronson C. Howard, Evening Mail, New York. 

1 68. Dr. C. F. Hey wood, New York. 

169. Chas. H. Sweetser, Evening Mail, New York. 

170. A. D. F. Randolph, Publisher, New York. 

171. Dr. Wm. A. Hammond, Medical Magazine, N.Y. 

172. A. D. Munson, Our young Folks, New York. 

173. J. A. Simonton, Associated Press, New York. 

174. H. T. Lee, New York. 

175. J. E. Spear, New York. 

176. Wm. E. Marshall, New York. 

177. Z. E. White, Tribune, New York. 

178. John R. Walker, Citizen, N.Y. 

179. B. Gallagher, Tribune, New York. 

1 80. S. T. Clark, Tribune, New York. 

181. W. B. McKean, Ledger, Philadelphia. 

182. C. H. Webb, Citizen, New York. 

183. Chas. E. Fitch, Journal, Syracuse, N.Y. 

184. Leroy Shear, New York. 

185. Thomas A. Acton, New York. 

1 86. J. M. Francis, Times, Troy, N.Y. 

187. C. E. Smith, Express, Albany, N.Y. 

1 88. E. K. Olmstead, Journal of Commerce, New York. 

189. C. S. Groot, New York. 

190. J. B. Bouten, Journal of Commerce, New York. 

191. L. A. Hunt, World, New York. 

192. H. M. Wyncoop, Publisher, New York. 

193. Joel Benton, Times, Amenia, N.Y. 

194. F. G. Fairfield, Herald, New York. 

195. George O. Glavis, German Press, N.J. 

196. J. M. Winchell, Public Spirit, New York. 

197. W. W. Warden, Inquirer, Philadelphia. 



314 APPENDIX II 

198. M. H. Northrup, Express, New York. 

199. W. S. Chase, Herald, New York. 

200. J. R. Thompson, Southern Press. 

201. J. B. Lippincott, Publisher, Philadelphia. 

202. Wm. Young, Publisher, New York. 

203. R. K. Potter, Boston. 

204. H. M. Ticknor, Publisher, Boston. 

Among those present at the dinner was Mr. D. O'C. Townley, 
of the New York Times* Mr. Townley evidently enjoyed the 
dinner to the uttermost, as shown by the following account in 
rhyme, of which he was the author, which was published in the 
World on the Monday following the dinner. Mr. Townley sent a 
copy of his effusion to Mr. Dickens, and received the following 
characteristic letter in acknowledgment : 

" Ga<Fs Hill Place, Higham by Rochester, Kent. 
"Monday, May 25, 1868. 

"Mv DEAR SIR, 

" I am truly obliged to you for your note enclosing ' Alder- 
man Rooney's ' account of a dinner never to be forgotten by me. 
You are very hard upon the 'Alderman,' I think, in your 
depreciation of his work ! For playfulness and earnestness com- 
bined, and for a special ease in versification, the ' Alderman ' 
seems to me to be rather remarkable. I cannot claim to be a 
disinterested judge of his production, certainly, for it has touched 
me in a tender place ; but if you can, by any means, convey my 
appreciation and thanks to him, pray do. 

" My dear Sir, 

" Very faithfully yours, 

"CHARLES DICKENS. 
" D. O'C. TOWNLEY, ESQ." 



THAT WONDERFUL DINNER WID BOZ 
BY ALDERMAN ROONEY 

OH Goddess ov Song! in whose honor 

Bow lowly the fair and the brave, 
From the glory crown'd pake ov Parnassus 

Look down to the foot on your slave ! 
Look down on your Rooney, bewildhered 

Wid poethry brimmin' his sowl ; 
And you, great Apollo ! whose singin' 

Deludhered the nymphs of the strame, 



APPENDIX II 315 

Till widout any clothes but their blushes, 

They crept to your feet in a dhrame ; 
Look down, oh great bard ! on your Rooney, 

His sowl wid your janius inspire, 
And, if its intirely convaynient, 

Oh lind him the loan of your lyre ! 
He'd sing as he never before sung, 

Since first he wove music and thought 
Into words, by that wonderful magic 

Your spirit, not Rooney's had wrought ! 
Oh breathe on your slave but a minnit, 

Then who shall refuse his applause 
To him who put nately hi verses, 

That wonderful dinner wid Boi! 

The North, on whose cloud-kissin' summits, 

The snow-wreath rests "all the year round," 
Whose valleys are fertile as Ayden 

Ere Adam and Eve got aground ! 
The South, on whose slopes the banana 

Grows ripe with the glad gooldin corn, 
Where the sheep that strayed off from the shepherd 

Were fearfully, fearfully shorn ! 
The East, land ov Pilgrims and praychers, 

Or janius that blossoms in books, 
Providers ov mental provision, 

Ov which half the world are the cooks ! 
The West, land of produce and prairies, 

Ov cities that rise in the night, 
Like palaces built by the fairies 

Ov which the bold Pagan did write. 
All these to the dinner to Dickens, 

Sent on the first fruits of the soil 
The tireless brained thinkers who labor 

To smooth out the roughness of toil, 
The oily-tongued, ready-penned writers, 

Great moulders of people and laws ! 
Aye, all of these came and were at it 

That wonderful dinner wid Boz ! 

Delmonico troubled in sperit, 

Had slept ne'er a wink for a week ; 
" The fat boy ! " he knew he was comin', 

He knew who would drink and who'd speak. 



316 APPENDIX II 

Good Lord! how he laid out the tables, 

In twinty most elegant rows ! 
And spread them all over wid damask, 

As white as the wind-driven snows. 
And how he bedeck'd them wid flowers, 

And sugar-built Temples of Fame ! 
Wid great piles of shivverin' jellies, 

And icebergs ov beautiful crame ! 
Wid real silver spoons near the forks too, 

And regiments of plates in a line, 
And cut crystal jugs and decanters, 

Brimful wid red tears ov the vine ! 
And how he hung up on the walls too, 

Right over the President's chair, 
Our flag and the flag ov ould England 

A little the worse ov the wear. 
But agra he forgot the Green Island, 

Mayhap left her out for a cause, 
Yet Dickens saw Irish who love him, 

Aye worship him, wonderful Boz ! 



Right under the banners stood Charley 

Wid joy in his heart and his eye, 
As again and again from two hundred 

Rose up the wild welcomin' cry ! 
Down under the banners sat Dickens, 

Beside him great Greeley sat down 
Wid spring in his face of good nature, 

And winter's snow-white on his crown. 
And Raymond the thinker, and Parton, 

And Curtis the graceful, and Hoe, 
And Hurlbert, a man worth a million, 

And Marble that makes the "World" go. 
And there too, sat others, brave fellows 

Who fear not to shortin life's span 
If robbin' their own they can lengthin 

And brightin the life-time ov man ; 
And down the long tables sat many, 

Whose names are well known to you all, 
Hard workers, grate thinkers, fine spaykers 

Well primed for the work ov the Fall; 
And wits too, your Rooney among them, 

Good fellows of stories and saws, 



APPENDIX II 317 

All blessin' wid brotherly kindness 
That wonderful dinner wid Boz. 

'Tis useless to talk ov the aytin', 

Unless you're acquainted wid Frinch, 
If you're not, thin by dad, you should larn it, 

'Tis useful sometimes in a pinch. 
If you are, then get hould ov a paper, 

You'll see thim set there in a row 
Most wonderful scholarly dishes, 

Invintions ov Swinton and Blow! 
Wid the names ov Kings, Queens and great authors, 

For the fish and the flesh and the frog; 
'Tis comfort to know, whin you're aytin', 

That larnin' goes down with the prog. 
But enough of this faystin' and drinkin', 

Tis hardly good natured in troth, 
Wid this I stop, least you get hungry 

There was lashin's and lavin's ov both. 
Wid the jokes that wint round there's no tellin', 

How half ov us ever got through, 
Wid the fun thay spill'd soup on shirt bosoms, 

Or scalded our throats with Burgoo 1 
Wid the tales that passed over the glasses, 

The wit that slipped in at each pause 
And made like a faste at Olimpus, 

That wonderful dinner wid Boz! 

The speeches ? no, no, I won't try them ; 

Not even your Rooney could tell 
How sowls were uplifted with rapture, 

Whose tongues held our hearts wid a spell ! 
Enough that I wept and I shouted, 

I laughed and I cried in a breath 
If Dickens had spoke any longer, 

You'd surely been " in at a death." 
For I swear, no I won't, yes, by Jabers ! 

He played on my feelings so much, 
That I felt my poor heart a piano 

That throbbed to his exquisite touch ! 
I blissed him in silence, and after 

I blissed them that followed him, too, 
Who spoke ov the man who had ever 

Been faithful and valiant and true; 



518 APPENDIX II 

Who spoke as I felt ov that janius 

Our brightest, our greatest, our own 
The wave of whose wand has uplifted 

The Press that o'ershadows the Throne ! 
Farewell, Great Reporter, may Heaven 

Preserve you, more stories to tell, 
And God be as pleased wid your labors, 

As we are, who bid you farewell ! 
Our children will read in the future, 

Ov brothers who fought the good cause, 
And met the Great Taycher to thank him. 

Good-bye ! and God bless you, dear Boz ! 



Richard Clay &* Sons, Limit id, London and Bung-ay. 



The MEMORIAL EDITION of the 

LIFE OF CHARLES DICKENS 

By JOHN FORSTER 

Illustrated with 500 Portraits, Facsimiles of Manuscripts, Play Bills, Views, 
Scenes and Places, including 

3 PHOTOGRAVURES and 5 STEEL PLATES 

Collected and arranged, with Introduction, by 

B. W. MATZ, Editor of "The Dickensian." 
Two Volumes. Demy 8vo. 25s. act. 



IN this edition of Forster's Life of Dickens, the editor has aimed at preparing 
a fitting memorial to the great novelist, the centenary of whose birth will 
be celebrated in 1912. Ever since the book was originally published, it has 
been a favourite for what is known as grangerizing, and has, by the very nature 
of the subject, proved to be the most suitable of all books for profusely 
illustrating. As a proof of the wealth of material it contains for such 
treatment, the work often runs to twelve or fourteen volumes when so treated. 
Such treasures, however, are only for those with long purses. The 
"Memorial" edition is to all intents and purposes a grangerized edition 01 
Forster's great book, designed to come within the means of all lovers of books. 
The following will indicate the scope and wealth of the pictures the two 
volumes will contain : 



Portraits of the novelist's contempor- 
aries and friends, embracing most of 
the prominent persons of the Vic- 
torian Era in England and in 
America. 

All the houses he lived in. 

Facsimiles of a page from twenty-six of 
the MSS. of his novels, plays, and 
other books, in the familiar blue 
ink. 

Facsimiles of the green paper wrappers 
of his novels as they appeared in 
serial form. 

Portraits of the members of his family, 
from paintings by Marcus Stone, 
R.A., Frank Stone, R.A., Augustus 
Egg, R.A., C. E. Perugini, Sir J. E. 
Millais, R.A., Habldt K. Browne, 
Daniel Maclise, R.A., John W. 
Gilbert, and others, many never 
before reproduced. 

Contemporary views of the cities, towns, 



and villages he visited during his 
holiday and reading tours, in this 
country, abroad, and in America. 

Scenes from many of the amateur 
theatrical performances in which he 
and his friends took part, and fac- 
similes of the curious and interesting 
play bills connected therewith. 

Interesting pictures associated with his 
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A unique series of forty portraits of the 
novelist at various ages, from paint- 
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Drummond, Samuel Laurence, 
Daniel Maclise, R.A., Ary Scheffer, 
W. P. Frith, R.A., R. J. Lane, 
AR.A. , Francis Alexander, Count 
D'Orsay, Cruikshank, Baugniet, 
Charles Martin, Margaret Gillies, 
and others ; and from photographs. 



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